Marshall, RFG's first permanent CEO since 2018, will be tasked with implementing a growth strategy and boosting support for franchisees following sluggish group sales growth in 2023
RFG operated 181 Gloria Jean’s stores and 71 coffee vans across Australia as of 30 December 2022 | Photo credit: Bahadır
Retail Food Group (RFG), which counts the Gloria Jean’s Coffees and Donut King café chains alongside a restaurant portfolio, has appointed Matthew Marshall as its new CEO, effective 1 July 2023.
The Queensland-based food and beverage group said Marshall, who previously served as Head of Retail, has the ‘skills and energy necessary to assume the responsibilities’ for RFG’s future growth.
RFG operated 181 Gloria Jean’s stores and 71 coffee vans in Australia as of 30 December 2022, alongside 592 franchised outlets across 41 international markets.
Further details on RFG’s growth strategy will be presented alongside its full-year results in August 2023 and is expected to advance the group’s franchisee-first strategy, which is centred on supporting operators with strategic planning, training, HR support, product training and creative marketing.
Executive Chairman Peter George, who has been overseeing operations since the resignation of former CEO Richard Hinson in December 2018, will continue in his role for a further two years to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
Having operated for five years without a CEO, George said the time was right to implement an orderly succession process.
RFG, which also operates Brumby’s Bakeries and Michel’s Patisserie alongside the Pizza Capers and Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar fast-food brands, reported group sales growth slowing in 2023 amid successive interest rate hikes and wider inflationary pressures.
In a trading update, the food and beverage group said its domestic revenues increased 8.5% to A$478m ($329m) since 1 July 2022, but that sales growth had slowed in the second half of the year to 2.2%.
“The impact on trading conditions of successive interest rate hikes, together with general inflationary pressures, has become more apparent in H2. We expect these factors will continue to influence the domestic trading environment for the foreseeable future,” RFG said in a statement.
In March 2023, RFG reported its food and beverage brands benefiting from a significant post-pandemic bounce back to post 14% year-on-year sales growth. RFG generated revenues of A$258.8m ($174m) in the six months ended 30 December 2022.