BATON ROUGE, LA.- Cheeseburger slider drive-thru concept, Small Sliders, has tapped Joe Lewis as the brand’s first chief executive officer. Backed by Walk On’s Sports Bistreaux founder, Brandon Landry, and former NFL quarterback, Drew Brees, Small Sliders opened its first location in Baton Rouge in September 2019 and is now preparing to launch a franchise program across the Gulf South.
Prior to joining Small Sliders, Lewis served as CEO of Twist Brands, the dominant franchise leader in the growing “Arts & Crafts as entertainment” industry with over 380 locations in the United States and internationally, including Painting with a Twist, America's original and largest paint-and-sip franchise brand; Color Me Mine, the originator in contemporary paint-your-own ceramics and Chesapeake Ceramics, a leading global ceramics supplier. In less than 2 ½ years, the company added over 160 franchise locations through mergers and acquisitions and organic growth under Lewis’ leadership.
“Joe’s experience in building franchise icons and expertise in franchise relations make him the perfect fit to assume the reins ahead of our expansion,” said Jacob Dugas, co-founder of Smalls Sliders.
Before Twist Brands Lewis served as president, CEO, general counsel and on the board of directors at Smoothie King Franchises. When Lewis joined Smoothie King the brand had 39 stores. During his tenure, the company grew to over 950 stores globally.
“I am excited about this unique opportunity to work with a quality veteran franchise ownership group who have made a commitment to grow the brand from the ground up the right way,” Lewis said. “This team understands the focus must be on building a culture of people first, franchise support and profitability. The result of this focus is already showing in impressive unit economics from their first location. I was also drawn to the founding teams’ enthusiasm for building a company that impacts people’s lives, from their team members, to franchise owners to the community. We want to use these small burgers to make a big difference in peoples’ lives across the country.”
As Small Sliders and the entrepreneurs behind it begin the strategic ramp up to launching the franchise program, it’s targeting 12 markets including Alexandria, Beaumont, Hattiesburg, Houma/Thibodeaux, Houston, Jackson, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Mobile, Monroe, New Orleans and Shreveport.