World’s largest barbecue concept advances industry veteran to join in leading company
In June 2019, De Santis joined the Dickey’s team with the responsibility of overseeing all company technology platforms. At the beginning of the pandemic, De Santis led her IT team through a complete redesign of Dickey’s e-commerce site to optimize functionality for mobile users. The upgraded site features enhanced speed and performance, an elevated user experience with fewer clicks and an easier navigation to follow, all of which contributed to a 42% increase in Dickey’s digital sales and 122% increase in site traffic.
“To say Carissa is deserving of this promotion would be an understatement,” said Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “Under Carissa’s leadership, Dickey’s technology capabilities have grown tremendously, which has played a huge role in taking our brand to the next level. We are very proud to promote her for her dedicated work and the overall impact she’s made on our company.”
Over the past year and a half at Dickey’s, De Santis also revamped internal reporting and resource channels and integrated all third-party delivery partners into Chowly, a third-party delivery consolidation service, to streamline the online ordering system. The integration with Chowly resulted in a growth of off-promise sales of over 400%.
An industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in both operations and technology, De Santis has coveted several recognitions for excellence in her field. In 2018, she served on the Technology Accelerator Award Winners Panel at the FSTEC Conference and in 2019, De Santis was named a rising star on Hospitality Technology’s Top Women in Restaurant Technology list. Additionally, Emerging.com named her as one of 2019’s Top 50 Women Innovators in the Restaurant Industry and most recently, De Santis was nominated for the Dallas CIO of the Year ORBIE Award.
“I am very honored and excited to take on this new role at Dickey’s,” De Santis said. “Our IT team has been challenged with many new developments since I began working here, and we’ve consistently risen to the occasion. With the help of cutting-edge technology, I can’t wait to watch our brand scale new heights.”
About Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.
Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., the world’s largest barbecue concept, was founded in 1941 by Travis Dickey. For the past 79 years, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has served millions of guests Legit. Texas. Barbecue.™ At Dickey’s, all our barbecued meats are smoked onsite in a hickory wood burning pit. Dickey’s proudly believes there’s no shortcut to true barbecue and it’s why they never say bbq. The Dallas-based, family-run barbecue franchise offers several slow-smoked meats and wholesome sides with ‘No B.S. (Bad Stuff)’ included. The fast-casual concept has expanded worldwide with two international locations in the UAE and operates over 500 locations in 44 states. In 2016, Dickey’s won first place on Fast Casual’s “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” list and was named a Top 500 Franchise by Entrepreneur in 2018. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has also been recognized by Fox News, Franchise Times, The Wall Street Journal, QSR Magazine, Forbes Magazine and Nation’s Restaurant News. For more information, visit www.dickeys.com.
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) announced today the appointment of Judd Tirnauer as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. With over 25 years of progressive finance and strategic planning experience mainly in the restaurant and retail business, including over 10 years in the CFO role, Tirnauer will lead CPK’s financial restructuring strategy, focus on growth opportunities, and oversee the accounting and finance teams.
“CPK is proud to welcome Judd to the team,” said Jim Hyatt, CEO of CPK. “With his proven track record in finance with both public and private equity brands, we are confident in Judd’s expertise and ability to lead CPK’s financial strategy and build on the Company’s business momentum.”
Judd most recently served as the CFO for Black Angus Steakhouse in Sherman Oaks, CA, and prior with Real Mex Restaurants and Wet Seal. He also spent 15 years at Destination Maternity Corporation, which operated four brands – A Pea in the Pod, Destination Maternity, Motherhood Maternity and Mimi Maternity – and led several projects aimed at reducing operating costs, improving overall margins and EBITDA, reducing debt load and inventory management.
“I’m excited to be joining such an iconic brand and look forward to working with Jim and the executive team on charting CPK’s future growth,” said Tirnauer.
Founded in Beverly Hills, Calif. in 1985, CPK is celebrating 35 years of colliding unexpected flavors and high-quality ingredients to create uniquely craveable dishes, like the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, a #1 global seller, and CPK’s industry-first, vegetable-powered Cauliflower Pizza Crust. From artisan, California-style pizzas, to creative salads, better-for-you options like Power Bowls and Cedar Plank Salmon, and handcrafted beverages made with fresh, globally inspired ingredients, CPK is known for culinary innovations that lead the trends, served in a relaxed yet vibrant setting anchored by CPK’s hearth pizza oven and open kitchen, where guests can watch their meals prepared from scratch.
CPK’s global footprint includes more than more than 200 restaurants in 8 countries and U.S. territories, which includes 40 international franchise locations as well as 16 domestic franchise locations in airports, casinos and stadiums throughout the United States.
About California Pizza Kitchen
In 1985, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) opened its first restaurant in Beverly Hills and introduced diners to innovative California-style pizza. With a passion for combining fresh, seasonal ingredients with flavor inspirations from around the world, today CPK is a global brand serving creative California cuisine in more than 200 restaurants in 8 countries and U.S. territories. From signature, hand-tossed pizzas and high-quality main plates to inventive better-for-you options, Lunch Duos, premium wines and handcrafted beverages, CPK adds its imaginative twist to create a memorable dining experience. For more information, visit cpk.com. Connect with CPK on Twitter at @calpizzakitchen, Instagram at @cpk, and Facebook at facebook.com/californiapizzakitchen. Download the CPK Rewards™ app for iOS and Android to earn rewards for dining creatively, pay by mobile, order online and more.
December, 14 2020
Church’s Chicken, has promoted Mitch Langston to Vice President of Franchise Development for the U.S. The move was driven by Langston’s leadership during the rebrand and franchise development efforts for the Church’s international sister brands, Texas Chicken™ and Church’s Texas Chicken™, which took place across 25 countries.
Langston helped successfully launch one of the most comprehensive redesigns in the brands’ histories – including new logo designs and iconography, new international restaurant design, menu, uniforms, packaging, new integrated marketing and public relations campaigns and development of an all-new Texas Chicken mobile app. Church’s is now aiming to mirror Langston’s tremendous performance with franchisees on a U.S. level, further establishing the Church’s brand as franchisor of choice in the chicken category and the QSR market overall.
“As the company is focused on accelerating the growth of our footprint in current and new markets across the U.S., we continue to develop new ways to enhance the visibility, relevance, engagement and passion for the Church’s brand among our guests and franchisees,” said Langston. “As Vice President of Franchise Development, I have the opportunity to work with an incredible development team, leadership team, and franchisee community to help fully realize our growth potential. I sincerely look forward to our collaboration and shared success in the days ahead.”
Prior to his position as Senior Director of International Marketing for Church’s, Langston served as Director of Marketing for Popeye’s, where he guided international brand positioning and designed growth-focused marketing plans. Langston also previously served as Director of Marketing at Applebee’s, defining international marketing, menu architecture, pricing, and leading product development.
In his new position, Langston will report to , Executive Vice President of U.S. Operations. His role will include leading the franchise development team through the selection, negotiation, and onboarding of Church’s domestic franchisees.
“Mitch’s proven ability to elevate the Church’s brand through his insight and expertise is a valuable addition to Church’s franchise development leadership,” said Servold. “His many years of contributions to our brand continue to add value to our overall brand strategy initiatives, and we only anticipate further positive outcomes as he fulfills his new role.”