More than consulting, we actually get work done.

Gray Cat Enterprises supplements your core staff drawing from its wealth of senior-level management experiences to deliver for you.


I'm John Matthews

I am president and CEO of Gray Cat Enterprises and am responsible for the management of all consulting activities for the firm, which include retail consulting for multiunit operations; interim divisional or general management leadership; strategic planning; and senior-level project management.

With more than twenty-five years’ experience in retail management including marketing and operations management; category management; mergers and acquisitions; facilities management; real estate; and corporate communications in a spectrum of industries,
including quick service restaurant, convenience store operations, and general retail.

Prior to founding my company in 2004, I held senior management positions as:

  • President of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches
  • VP of marketing, merchandising, facilities, corporate communications, and real estate at Clark Retail
    Enterprises, Inc.
  • National marketing director of the Little Caesars Pizza Corporation

"I've had the pleasure of working closely with John for the last 3 years. What sets John apart from the pack is not only the favorable results that he drives, yet it's also in the way he achieves it. He is a quick study on things, yet he always starts with building trust. He seeks to first listen and understand, then based on that, he overlays his skills to solve the problem identified. He collaborates. He is accountable. He is smart. He pushes where appropriate. He is persistent. He is competitive. He always seems to find a path to success. If you are fortunate enough to get the chance to work with John - jump at it!"

- Mark Byers, Safeguard Business Systems (VP Deluxe Corp)

"Global Partners hired John Matthews and Gray Cat and he provided an expertise that we were looking for to enhance our operations across a number of fronts, producing great results. His personality meshes perfectly with our culture and has consistently provided creative solutions in a timely manner. All in all, he has been a tremendous value to our organization in operations, merchandising, marketing and strategic planning. John is a high integrity guy that is a great contributor to the overall success of our team."

- Mark Cosenza, Senior Vice President at Global Partners LP

"John has been an incredible person and partner to work with. Prior to kicking things off, we didn't have a solid framework for building out a 1 or 3 year plan, which are critical building blocks necessary to achieve the exponential growth that we're aiming for:
- Developing employee and company incentive programs
- Developing a series of KPI's to manage our business more precisely
- Built budgetary and planning frameworks 

I would highly recommend John as his work and contributions to our business have been incredibly valuable." 

- David Spratte, CEO & Co-Founder at Carpe

Interim Executive Leadership

Gray Cat can step into an interim executive leadership role in your organization to manage a division and/or company to the P&L level.

Senior-Level Project Management

Multi-departmental expertise to develop, guide and manage complex projects across your company. ย 

Strategic Business Planning

Helping companies large and small better define their strategic direction through tactical initiatives.

Retail, Quick-Service Restaurant and Convenience Store Expertise

25+ years direct corporate retail, quick-service restaurant and convenience operations, marketing, facilities, real estate, corporate communications and merchandising management.


Latest from the Gray Cat Blog

A comprehensive collection of blogs designed to assist small business owners and multi-unit operators. 

Gray Cat: Want Success? Be Self-Motivated

Jul 16, 2024

Relocating A Store

Jul 15, 2024

The Rubber Chicken Circuit

Jul 15, 2024

Want to improve your business-building skills but donโ€™t know where to turn?

The Gray Cat Learning Series

Fifteen (15) hands-on, business training courses each ranging from 25-to-90 minutes in length

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Get measurable metrics to help manage your business 


Grand Openings or Anniversaries

Tell the world that you are open (or celebrating an anniversary)


Request for Proposals (RFPs)

Secure the best deals with your vendors 


Sales Forecasting

Sales forecasting is about accountability - learn how to deliver results 


Corporate Communications Planning

Put your best foot forward in good times and bad 


Strategic Business Planning

Clarify your vision with a strategic plan – step-by-step instructions


Operational Excellence

Set up your organization up for growth by understanding what the market wants 


Conducting a P&L Analysis

Count the pennies and watch the profits flow


Local Store Marketing

Capture core customers while simultaneously locking out competition 


Multi-Store Operations

Learn how to capitalize on operational scaling 


Developing a Winning Foodservice Program

Foodservice attracts customers and at higher margins 



Design your store to meet the needs of the customer



Effective leadership involves a myriad of skillsets - learn how to master them



Creating consumer-friendly store sets and adjacencies


Time Management & Life Balance

Improve productivity and create better life balance