, Australia
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Photo from GYG Facebook page.

No ‘mass exodus’ in GYG leadership team :GYG spokesperson

Read here for Guzman y Gomez’s full statement.

Australian fast-food brand Guzman Y Gomez (GYG) has issued a statement addressing a reported ‘mass exodus’ of its leadership team, its US and ASX listing plans, and its goal for the year. 

Read the full interview by QSR Media with a GYG spokesperson below:

QSR Media: Do you have a general statement about the article published about GYG in the AFR on 4 December 2023?

GYG provided a long statement responding to AFR’s questions. We understand there’s limited space to write a full story however, there’s quite a bit of context missing when it comes to the headlines.

In June 2023, 6 months ago, the CFO made the decision to leave the business. They had employed a small number of people during their tenure at GYG. A small number of people each of whom had been with the business no more than 12 months chose to leave at the same time. 

It is not unusual for GYG’s investors TDM to assist fill interim vacancies. This is a secondment program they have made available to all businesses they are invested in. This allows the business to keep moving at pace while an executive search is conducted and an appointment is made. 

TDM assisted GYG at a time when we were seeing enormous growth. TDM were proud to help and GYG were grateful to the exceptional executive leaders who joined us. Two of those three executives have chosen to stay on at GYG full-time. There was no chaos, it was quite calm and stable and remains so.  

Since then, we have appointed a new CFO, Erik du Plessis and a CPO.

No GYG leadership team member has left the business in the last 6 months. There’s nothing more to it than that and there is certainly no “mass exodus”.

The business has continued to drive exceptional results:

Australia: 

  • GYG has opened 11 new restaurants and closed 1 - Oct 23
  • Total sales growth of 32% – Oct 23
  • Comp sales growth of 11% (YTD 27 November 2023: 11.2%) – Oct 23
  • Underlying EBITDA of $11.7m, up 77% and on track for $50m for FY24 – Sept 23
  • Successfully launched Crispy Chicken Tenders with GYG’s largest media campaign ever  

International: 

  • Total sales growth of 27% – Oct 23
  • Total comp sales growth of 15% – Oct 23
  • Opened our 4th restaurant in the USA (November 2023)  

What can you tell us about your expansion plans in the US now?

GYG has opened 3 restaurants in the US this calendar year, Schaumburg, Crystal Lake and Buffalo Grove, we continue to build our pipeline of Triple A drive-thrus in and around Chicagoland and plan to open many more GYGs.

GYG always thrives when we elevate our most unique and famous menu items. Our global Cali Burrito “It’s Fries in a Burrito” campaign which was one of the most successful campaigns we’ve ever launched here in Australia has just launched in Chicago with an OOH and digital campaign and the response from guests has been immediate.   
 
What are your ASX listings plans?

Yes, GYG is still aiming to IPO in 2024/25, subject to market conditions. 

With GYG currently having two co-CEOs, Steven Marks and Hilton Brett, How do Steven and Hilton divide their responsibilities in leading the company?

Steven retains food, marketing, operations and the US.

Hilton leads IT, HR, Legal, Real Estate and Investor relations. Each has a line of sight in all departments.

What will be GYG’s short-term and long-term goals?

This year GYG will employ over 6,000 people across Hola Central and our Restaurants. Hola Central (Head Office) alone will increase our FTE’s by 40%.  GYG remains focussed on opening close to 30 restaurants a year. Short term we remain focussed on our growth and in re-inventing the fast food category and changing the way the masses eat.

Long term the business wants to be the biggest and best restaurant company in the world. It’s a huge goal that we know will take time but our team of 11,000+ people love being part but one we’re focussed on.   

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