I Heart Mac & Cheese Makes 2 Key Hires in Operations and Marketing

by Katie Lee

Boca Raton, Fla. — I Heart Mac & Cheese has hired Angelo Freites as vice president of franchise operations and Rafael Romero as director of marketing. Freites has 40 years of experience in the franchise industry, previously as a franchisee of Wendy’s and Checkers. Romero joins the company from YUM! International (KFC) and Wendy’s International as brand strategist and marketing director across Latin America and the Caribbean.

“I am so pleased to have such top industry veterans as Angelo Freites and Rafael Romero join the I Heart team,” says Steve Giordanella, chairman and CEO. “Their combined experience will lead our aggressively-planned expansion throughout the country.”

According to Giordanella, the growing fast-casual restaurant concept specializes in made-to-order macaroni and cheese bowls, grilled cheese sandwiches and a large variety of health-conscious options; there are currently 40+ I Heart Mac & Cheese restaurants across the U.S. with dozens more bought and planned to open through 2025 and beyond.

Freites has worked from a dishwasher to becoming CEO of a large QSR brand. His 40 years of experience in the restaurant and franchise space spans all levels of restaurant site development, management and operations. He has owned several QSR restaurants as a multi-unit franchisee including Wendy’s, Checkers and Popeyes. In recent years, Freites shifted focus to consulting emerging brands from strategic planning to operations.

Romero, who has over two decades of experience, managed KFC brand building in 40 countries, developed marketing calendars and implemented digital content libraries, driving significant growth. At Wendy’s, he led the creation of the Brand Building Marketing Academy, aligning brand strategies across 18 countries and facilitating successful market entries in Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador. He also worked in marketing for Burger King and Domino’s Pizza.

Giordanella founded I Heart Mac & Cheese in South Florida in 2017. For more information, visit www.iheartmacandcheese.com.

SOURCE: I Heart Mac & Cheese

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