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Inspire Brands Names Michael Haley as its New International President

Inspire Brands, the franchising giant behind Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John's, Rusty Taco, Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins has a new face leading its international expansion efforts.

Inspire Brands on Wednesday named Michael Haley, the former Pret A Manger exec, as its new president and managing director of international operations. 

Inspire Brands, the franchising juggernaut behind brands including Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John's, Rusty Taco and Baskin-Robbins, runs 9,000 restaurants across 60 countries.  In November, Inspire acquired Dunkin’, the global coffee and pastry giant with more than 13,000 locations, for $11.3 billion. 

“Michael brings a deep background in international restaurant operations, coupled with experience in business development, food and marketing, making him a great fit for this role at Inspire. Additionally, he deeply understands the needs of businesses that operate internationally and how to best support global franchisees,” said Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Brands said in a release

Haley will make the move to Inspire’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia from London for the role. In London, Haley worked as Chief Partnership Officer at Pret A Manger, where he was responsible for all of Pret’s partnership shops. Pret A Manger represents an international franchising success story as the brand has become ubiquitous across Western Europe and even New York City. 

At Inspire, Haley “will be responsible for driving the international growth and development for Inspire’s portfolio of brands,” according to the release. 

For large, successful franchise brands in the U.S., international expansion represents the final frontier of franchise development. Pizza giant Little Caesars, for example, has devoted significant resources to expanding the brand around the world.

For U.S. brands with a value-driven product, like Little Caesars or the brands in Inspire’s portfolio, foreign markets represent an opportunity to cash in on the global name recognition of dishes like pizza or tacos. 

Brown told Fox Business on Tuesday that Inspire Brands now has almost 40% of their restaurants outside of the U.S.