When private-equity firm Roark Capital acquired Corner Bakery Cafe in 2011 and put the brand on the fast-track to franchising, Corner Bakery Chief Marketing Officer Diana Hovey worried the fast-casual chain might lose some of its brand identity in the process. However, with the guest experience influencing every brand decision, Corner Bakery has been expanding into new markets through franchising while still keeping its reputation as "the ultimate neighborhood gathering spot," Hovey said.

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