CBS’s Hit Series “Undercover Boss” Takes Cinnabon President Kat Cole through Journey inside Franchise and Distribution Channels

New Episode of Emmy Award-Winning CBS Reality Series to be broadcast Friday, Nov. 16

ATLANTA, GA (Nov. 12, 2012) – As the leader of Cinnabon, Inc., the maker of World Famous Cinnamon Rolls, Kat Cole is used to seeing people smile while enjoying their indulgent treats. But her experience on the hit CBS series “Undercover Boss” helped her clearly see just how many dedicated and talented employees are helping to propel Cinnabon® as a brand. Cole’s journey will unfold on national television as she takes a thorough look inside Cinnabon Friday, November 16 (8pm/7c) on the CBS Television Network.  

“Being with the brand for almost two years, I wanted to go undercover to talk to our employees about what they are dealing with day to day and how the changes our team has made have impacted them, our brand and our guests. This was a unique opportunity to do that without being recognized,” said Cole. “I walked away incredibly proud of our brand and with an even deeper understanding and appreciation for the unsung heroes throughout the Cinnabon system.” 

Cole’s decision to participate in “Undercover Boss” fits well with her hands-on leadership style. She regularly visits bakeries around the world, often surprising employees as she rolls up her sleeves to work alongside them on all sides of the business. She became President of the company in 2011 and since then has become known for her intense and collaborative leadership style. Cole wanted to find ways to improve and grow the Cinnabon brand through the experience on “Undercover Boss.” At age 34, Cole is the youngest “boss” to be featured on the show.

She and other Cinnabon leaders will take what Cole learned and continue to build on the experience. Jobs that she participated in during the show include bakery cashier, machine operator, coffee host and bakery manager. As a result of “Undercover Boss,” several company-wide initiatives have been put into place, such as more efforts toward multicultural marketing, engaging employees in local fundraising efforts and a greater emphasis on product sampling.   

Each week, the Emmy Award-winning “Undercover Boss,” which is just starting its fourth season, follows a different executive as they leave the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their companies. While working alongside their employees, they see the effects their decisions have on others, where the problems lie within their organizations and get an up-close look at both the good and the bad while discovering and rewarding the unsung heroes who make their companies run.  

About Cinnabon, Inc.

Founded in Seattle in 1985 and now based in Atlanta, Cinnabon, Inc. is the market leader among cinnamon roll bakeries. The company serves fresh, aromatic, oven-hot cinnamon rolls, as well as a variety of other baked goods and specialty beverages. Cinnabon currently operates more than 900 franchised locations worldwide, primarily in high traffic venues such as shopping malls, airports, train stations, travel plazas, entertainment centers and military establishments. Cinnabon is also a multi-channel licensor, partnering with other companies to provide brand licensed products at foodservice and retail venues. Visit www.cinnabon.com for more information, follow us on Twitter @Cinnabon or become a Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/Cinnabon.

Kat Cole Promoted to President of Cinnabon

ATLANTA (Jan. 10, 2011) – FOCUS Brands Inc., the franchisor and operator of more than 3,300 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants and cafes, announced today that Kat Cole has been named President of Cinnabon, Inc., the 25-year-old market leader among cinnamon roll bakeries with more than 770 locations worldwide.

“Since joining us only three months ago, Kat has made a tremendous impact on the Cinnabon brand, assessing and addressing key strategic opportunities while learning and leading the business,” said Russ Umphenour, CEO of parent company FOCUS Brands. “Kat is a natural leader and a relationship-builder. She has spent a great deal of time in the field getting to know our franchise partners and their teams, as well as learning about their day-to-day needs and challenges.”

“I love experiencing drivers of the Cinnabon business first-hand and have valued the opportunity to work many hours in our bakeries, getting to know our Guests, managers, crew members, corporate support team and other leaders in our organization,” said Kat. “I look forward to continuing to contribute to the strategic and profitable growth of Cinnabon’s franchise partners and the evolution of the Cinnabon brand. I am grateful to lead such a world-class franchise organization.”

Prior to joining Cinnabon as Chief Operating Officer, Kat served as Vice President of Training and Development for Hooters of America, Inc., where she played a key role in research, strategy and integration for non-traditional brand extensions and profitable revenue building initiatives. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) and the Certification Governing Board for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), Kat is a past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA). She most recently was awarded with the 2010 GRACE (Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence) Award for Distinguished Service. Kat received her MBA from Georgia State University.

Gary Bales will step down as President of Cinnabon, but will continue his role as President of Carvel. 

About Cinnabon

Founded in Seattle in 1985 and now based in Atlanta, Cinnabon, Inc. is the market leader among cinnamon roll bakeries. The company serves fresh, aromatic, oven-hot cinnamon rolls, as well as a variety of other baked goods and specialty beverages. Cinnabon currently operates more than 770 franchised locations worldwide, primarily in high traffic venues such as shopping malls, airports, train stations, travel plazas, entertainment centers, academic institutions and military establishments. Visit www.cinnabon.com for more information, follow us on Twitter @CinnabonInc or become a Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/Cinnabon.

About FOCUS Brands

FOCUS Brands Inc. is the franchisor and operator of more than 3,300 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes in 47 states and 42 countries under the brand names, Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, and the franchisor of Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets. Based in Atlanta, the primary objective of FOCUS Brands is to “FOCUS on making people happy.” Please visit www.focusbrands.com to learn more.