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Cheryl Bachelder    

Former CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. & Author of "Dare to Serve: How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others"

Cheryl Bachelder is a passionate, purpose-led business leader -- the former CEO of Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. From 2007 to 2017, she led the transformation of a tired brand and discouraged organization into a top-performing quick service restaurant chain. The story of the Popeyes success is chronicled in her book Dare to Serve: How to drive superior results by serving others. Today Cheryl’s aim is to help senior leaders understand and implement Dare to Serve leadership in for-profit and non-profit workplaces.

Cheryl’s earlier career included brand leadership roles at Yum Brands, Domino’s Pizza, RJR Nabisco, The Gillette Company and Procter & Gamble.
Today Cheryl serves as a director and compensation committee chair at Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (PIR). She also serves as a director of US Foods Holding Corp (USFD). She is an advisor to Procter & Gamble’s franchising venture, Tide Dry Cleaners. She is active in many ministries developing future leaders: Spring Hill Camps, Crossroad Farms, and CRU. She speaks at conferences such as Work Matters, RightNow Media, [email protected], Servant Leadership Institute, and Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.

Cheryl holds a Bachelor’s and Masters of Business Administration degree from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She is married 37 years to Chris Bachelder and they have three grown daughters, two terrific son-in-laws, and two handsome grandsons. Cheryl and Chris reside in Atlanta, Georgia and attend Buckhead Church. They are avid learners, fans of the classical education movement, and can always be found reading a good book!

Speech Topics


Dare to Serve

How can leaders get breakthrough results? Cheryl Bachelder tells how she and her team engineered the extraordinary turnaround of Popeye Louisiana Kitchen by making a tough but rewarding decision to lead through service.

Cheryl Bachelder joined an ailing restaurant chain and turned it into the darling of the industry—by daring to serve the people in her organization well.

When Bachelder was named CEO of Popeyes in the fall of 2007, guest visits had been declining for years, restaurant sales and profit trends were negative, and the company stock price had dropped from $34 in 2002 to $13. The brand was stagnant, and relations between the company and its franchise owners were strained.

By 2014, average restaurant sales were up 25 percent, and profits were up 40 percent. Popeyes’ market share had grown from 14 percent to 21 percent, and the stock price was over $40. The franchisees were so pleased with the turnaround that they began reinvesting in the brand, rapidly remodeling restaurants, and building new units around the world.

The difference maker, Bachelder says, was a conscious decision to lead in a new way. She and her team created a workplace where people were treated with respect and dignity yet challenged to perform at the highest level. Silos and self were set aside in favor of collaboration and team play. And the results were measured with rigor and discipline. Servant leadership is sometimes derided as soft or ineffective, but this book shows that it’s actually challenging and tough minded—a daring path. Bachelder takes you firsthand through the transformation of Popeyes and shows how a leader at any level can become a Dare-to-Serve leader.

News


Popeyes CEO To Women: Don't Waste Time Trying To Fit In
Getting fired from KFC made Cheryl Bachelder a better CEO of ...

Joann Lublin's "Earning It" features a story about how Cheryl Bachelder changed her leadership style after getting dismissed from a major restaurant chain.

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