Mad Mex founder appoints new CEO, shifts to MD role

Therese Frangie, COO, takes on the new CEO role. (Source: Supplied)

Mad Mex founder and CEO Clovis Young has appointed a replacement CEO as he moves to a strategic MD role.

COO Therese Frangie has been promoted into the CEO role, effective immediately. Just last month Frangie was ranked number three in the Top 30 Franchise Executives report 2023.

Young founded the business 16 years ago. He will transition into the managing director role and focus on strategy and special projects.

Young said “We have been succession planning for a couple of years. The leadership team and I believe now is the right time for Therese to officially step into the CEO role. I am looking forward to the strategic managing director role and know the business will continue its strong growth trajectory.

Mad Mex founder Clovis Young
Mad Mex founder Clovis Young takes on a managing director role.

“As the business size and scale increases, Therese has the operational excellence and leadership capabilities to run the day-to-day business. She has been a driving force over the past six years and knows the business inside and out. This transition in role allows me to stay connected to the strategic goals of Mad Mex and better leverages my entrepreneurial strengths,” he added.

New Mad Mex CEO to focus on scaling the business

Frangie will continue to focus on day-to-day operations, and business growth. The plan is to scale the business to reach the goal of 100 restaurants by 2026. Currently the footprint is 63, with 18 of those stores opened in the last two years.

Same-store sales have increased by an average of 25 per cent each month over the last year.

Frangie told Franchise Executives “We have a very clear strategy. We will stick to what we know; we play really well in shopping centres – in entertainment leisure precincts and food courts. Our strategy is clearly working, and we will play where we play best.”

Frangie said Mad Mex will stay in Australia for the next two years and concentrate on fortifying the New South Wales and Victoria footprints. The brand already has a regional presence, with the Dubbo and Albury stores both performing well.

While other QSR brands have diversified their business models, there is no plan for Mad Mex to follow suit, she said.

“If you have a ruthless focus on what you do well, stick to that, do it well. Don’t get distracted by shiny new things.”

The new CEO will apply a ‘laser focus’ to sustainable growth and expansion, and ensure the continuation of operational excellence.

The business is well placed to deliver on the operations front, despite the discontinuation of the COO role, she said.

A premium brand starts with people

“We have upskilled the leadership team so they can take on aspects of operations. As COO I was effectively an integrator and had the team reporting to me. That coo role has now been dispersed across the leadership team,” she said.

Frangie said the company has a continued focus on elevating its premium and authentic offering.

“It starts with premium people,” she said. “Our franchisees and business managers are supported, we have the right tools, and our premium people represent the brand.

“We have a good authentic product, our loyalists know that, we have to get that message out to the wider consumer market. We have a premium product made consistently. From a branding perspective, it is about staying true to our core, which is healthy food.”

Frangie said the business is planning for all eventualities in the economy next year.

“At Mad Mex we are not seeing a downturn yet, so maybe the lipstick theory does prevail? We are planning for FY24 with levers to drive consumer frequency, and looking at how we can maintain costs. There are levers in place to turn up or turn down.”

Prior to joining Mad Mex Frangie had spent nearly two years at Oporto, and before that more than six years at KFC.

She joined Mad Mex as general manager, operations.

“From being a customer, to joining the team six years ago, I’ve loved working alongside visionary founder Clovis to lead the company through its growth journey. I’m excited about the next chapter ahead,” she said.