Huddle House Appoints Industry Veteran, Ken Keymer, to CEO Post

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Interim-CEO Tapped to Lead 24-Hour Diner Chain

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After working with the management team and our franchisees, I found myself connecting with Huddle House in a way I hadn’t expected.

The Huddle House Board of Directors have voted to name restaurant industry veteran Ken Keymer as CEO of the 400-unit full-service dining chain. Keymer, a long-time Huddle House board member, assumed the role of interim-CEO in September 2010. While serving in the interim role Keymer decided to seek out the permanent CEO position after becoming engaged with the brand.

“After working with the management team and our franchisees, I found myself connecting with Huddle House in a way I hadn’t expected,” said Keymer. “So rather than continuing to look for a CEO outside the company, I talked to the owners about becoming the permanent CEO. Fortunately, the board was pleased to have me stay on and lead the brand.”

Keymer’s extensive history in the restaurant industry includes experience as President and COO of Sonic Corporation and CEO positions at Vicorp Inc. (parent of Bakers Square and Village Inn), AFC Enterprises (parent of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen) and Noodles and Co.

When Keymer, age 63, assumed the interim position he quickly became engaged with the brand. He saw a tremendous opportunity to reinvigorate the iconic brand by working with franchisees and employees to significantly improve the Huddle House customer experience.

“I had been sitting on a couple of boards and consulting for several companies while enjoying semi-retirement,” he said. “I hadn’t considered becoming the permanent CEO when I started, yet somewhere along the way my perception changed. I became excited about the potential of this brand and the opportunity to work with a talented and motivated team.”

Since starting with Huddle House, Keymer has focused on improving communication with franchisees, strengthening company-owned stores and developing new marketing initiatives. He recently led the senior team in developing a multi-year strategic plan.

“Developing a long term focus while finding ways to connect with our guests and operators has delivered very positive results,” Keymer said. “I’m looking forward to continuing the work we’ve started here and building the brand throughout 2011 and beyond.”

About Huddle House                                                    
Huddle House, Inc., a full-service family restaurant chain, is well-known for serving “Any Meal. Any Time.” in communities around the country. The Huddle House menu has a wide variety of comfort food items and features signature Big House breakfast and sandwich platters, as well as favorites such as country fried steak with green beans and marinated grilled chicken with sweet potato fries. The core values on which Huddle House was founded in 1964 – serving quality food in a warm, friendly environment that brings the community together – remain intact today. Typically open 24-hours, Huddle House serves breakfast, lunch and dinner all day. In 2011, Huddle House will be implementing a new and fresh design with flexible seating so even larger groups can come and enjoy 'Our House'. The Atlanta-based 400-plus-unit franchise is located in 17 states, primarily in the Southeast, Mid-West and Southwest U.S. For more information, please call 1-800-418-9555 or visit


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Nick Powills

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