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Katy Velazquez thought she was going to be a theater major in college, then quickly found her varied interests made it difficult to stop changing her mind. She ended up graduating with a degree in psychology in 2010, but on the way also dabbled in the catering and banquet serving industry as a side gig. Velazquez also learned how to feed herself during college, a feat some never quite master. “I fell in love with cooking and feeding people. I knew that's what I wanted to do,” Velazquez said, which is exactly what she does as executive chef at 750-unit Qdoba.

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Private equity was extremely active in 2018, shrinking the list of public brands on the Franchise Times watch list and moving a lot of money around in the franchise space.