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Executive Movements - April 2021

Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. Names Lissette Gonzalez SVP, Global Supply Chain Officer

April 13, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

TAMPA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--David Deno, CEO of Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLMN), today announced the promotion of Lissette Gonzalez to Senior Vice President, Supply Chain. In her new role, Gonzalez will lead the company’s supply chain and join the Executive Leadership Team.

“Lissette has made many important contributions to our supply chain since she joined us seven years ago,” said Deno. “With her planning and forecasting expertise, coupled with her proven talent for global procurement, she ensures our operators have ample supplies, at a fair cost and on time. I also look forward to her joining the Executive Leadership Team.”

Gonzales joined Bloomin’ Brands in 2014 and was promoted to Vice President of Global Procurement in 2019. Under her leadership, Lissette transformed the Supply forecasting and planning function resulting in significant cost savings, productivity and cash flow improvements. In addition, Lissette has a strong track record of developing strategic relationships both internally and externally with supplier and distribution partners.

Prior to Bloomin’ Brands, Gonzalez spent sixteen years at Office Depot holding various supply chain roles including planning and forecasting, strategy, and distribution. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Master of Science in Engineering Management from Florida International University.

About Bloomin’ Brands, Inc.

Bloomin' Brands, Inc. is one of the largest casual dining restaurant companies in the world with a portfolio of leading, differentiated restaurant concepts. The Company has four founder-inspired brands: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. The Company owns and operates more than 1,450 restaurants in 47 states, Guam and 20 countries, some of which are franchise locations. For more information, please visit

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Little Caesars Pizza Names Erin Martin Chief of Staff

Martin will serve as strategic advisor to the CEO and senior leadership team to help guide the continued growth and success of the company

Apr 12, 2021, 10:15 ET

DETROIT, April 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Little Caesars Pizza, the global family-owned pizza chain, announced today that Erin Martin has been named Chief of Staff. Martin has been with Little Caesars since 2007 and most recently served as Vice President, Business Support Services and General Counsel. In the newly created role, Martin will act as strategic advisor to the Little Caesars President and CEO and its leadership team.

"This is an exciting time for Little Caesars, marked by continued growth domestically and internationally, as well as an ongoing focus on tech and innovation that allows us to provide best-in-class service and value," said Scrivano. "Erin's extensive knowledge and experience in employment and franchise law, as well as her ability to successfully manage various departments within Little Caesars will help us build on our incredible momentum."

As the Vice President, Business Support Services and General Counsel, Martin led the legal and business support teams, including real estate, construction, U.S. development, training, and communications. Under her leadership, she provided counsel during several key initiatives for Little Caesars, including the chain's new world headquarters expansion in downtown Detroit, and several projects designed to advance the company's interests in the areas of diversity, government relations and corporate growth. Martin also supported the legal needs of several other businesses within the Ilitch Family of Companies, including Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, and the Little Caesars Fundraising Pizza Kit program.

"I care deeply about Little Caesars and am honored to take on this new role to help guide the strategic direction of the business and closely support Dave," said Martin. "I look forward to continuing to work alongside my talented colleagues to achieve unprecedented success for the company in areas such as growth, expansion, innovation and service."

Martin has more than 20 years of experience in corporate and franchise law. Prior to joining Little Caesars, she was an attorney at Bodman PLC.

A Michigan native, Martin earned a B.A. in political science from Michigan State University in 1997, a J.D. from Detroit's Wayne State University Law School, and was admitted to the Michigan bar in 2001. She resides in Grosse Pointe with her family.


Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars was founded by Mike and Marian Ilitch in 1959 as a single, family-owned restaurant. Today, Little Caesars is the third largest pizza chain in the world, with stores in each of the 50 U.S. states and 27 countries and territories.

Little Caesars recently introduced contactless options for both delivery and carry-out through the Little Caesars app.  Pizzas are baked in 475-degree ovens to ensure food safety and never touched after baking. The chain has also reinforced cleanliness and sanitization procedures, increasing the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces including door handles, glass, countertops, Pizza Portal surfaces, phones, and cash registers.

Known for its HOT-N-READY® pizza and famed Crazy Bread®, Little Caesars has been named "Best Value in America" for the past 14 years (based on nationwide survey of national quick service restaurant customers conducted by Sandelman & Associates - 2007-2020 entitled "Highest Rated Chain – Value for the Money"). Little Caesars products are made with quality ingredients, like fresh, never frozen, mozzarella and Muenster cheese and sauce made from fresh-packed, vine-ripened California crushed tomatoes.

An exceptionally high growth company with 60 years of experience in the $145 billion worldwide pizza industry, Little Caesars is continually looking for franchisee candidates to join our team in markets around the world. In addition to providing the opportunity for entrepreneurial independence in a franchise system, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized and appealing characters in the country, Little Caesar.

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Zaxby’s Hires Mike Nettles as Interim Chief Digital and Technology Officer

April 6, 2021

Premium QSR to focus on enhancing digital experience with new leadership

Athens, GA  (  Zaxby’s, the premium QSR chain known for its chicken fingers, wings and signature sauces, welcomes Mike Nettles as interim chief digital and technology officer (CDTO). Nettles joins Zaxby’s from Papa John’s, where he served as chief operating and growth officer. Nettles is the first CDTO in Zaxby’s 31-year history. He reports directly to founder and CEO Zach McLeroy.

“Zaxby’s is coming off a year of record sales in unprecedented circumstances,” said Zach McLeroy, founder and CEO. “We’re positioned now for exponential growth with our partner Goldman Sachs. Mike’s expertise enables us to enhance both team member and guest experience through technology.”

At Papa John’s, Nettles focused on improving customer experience. Prior to that, he worked with Panera Bread as vice president of architecture & IT strategy, where he was responsible for leading the technical design, development and implementation of digital and in-store assets.

“I’ve spent 30 years in the hospitality and retail sectors, and I believe that people are what drive our business,” Nettles said. “I’m eager to leverage Zaxby’s heightened emphasis on digital offerings to grow business across its current and future footprint.”

In his new role with Zaxby’s, Nettles will oversee IT for both corporate and restaurant systems, focusing on store technology, data democratization and centralization, architecture and change management. While Nettles is fluent in technology, he also understands the business side and will ensure that store-level operations are front and center in Zaxby’s digital strategy. Nettles will prioritize the recently revamped loyalty program, Zax Fanz Club.

In November 2020, Zaxby’s announced that Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division (Goldman Sachs) would acquire a significant stake in the company. The deal was finalized by year end. The partnership supports accelerated growth for Zaxby’s through new sales channels with a guest-focused approach.

“Mike will serve as a digital champion to help us develop a clear strategy around people and technology and then execute on that vision,” McLeroy said. “He’s putting the digital infrastructure in place to support our national expansion.”

About Zaxby’s

Founded in 1990, Zaxby’s is still led by founder Zach McLeroy. The brand is committed to serving delicious chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads in a fun, offbeat atmosphere where customers are considered friends. Zaxby’s has grown to more than 900 locations in 17 states and is headquartered in Athens, Georgia. For more information, visit or

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Fernando Machado is Leaving Burger King Owner RBI

It’s uncertain where the chief marketing officer is heading. He had been with the company since 2014.

By Jonathan Maze on Apr. 02, 2021

Fernando Machado is leaving Burger King owner Restaurant Brands International, the company confirmed on Thursday.

Machado had been with the Toronto-based company, which also owns Tim Hortons and Popeyes, since 2014 following a career at Unilever. He was named Burger King’s chief marketing officer in 2017 and was named marketing chief at RBI early last year.

“RBI wishes Fernando the very best,” the company said in a statement. “One of the great things that Fernando did for the company is attract and grow strong marketing talent within the RBI organization. Today, RBI is fortunate to have exceptional home-market CMOs in Hope Bagozzi, Ellie Doty and Bruno Cardinali, and all three have built strong marketing teams at Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes. The organization has talented marketing teams and strong leadership around the world.”

It’s uncertain where Machado is going. He initially told the publication Ad Age that he was leaving the company.

His departure represents a loss for RBI, which has become known for its aggressive marketing tactics in recent years, especially at its Burger King brand. The company had earned significant praise for things like the “Whopper Detour,” which drove app downloads by selling Whoppers for a penny if they were ordered from a McDonald’s parking lot.

It also took serious risks, such as using a photo of a moldy Whopper to highlight its decision not to use artificial preservatives.

Some of those risks backfired, however. Last month, the company was forced to apologize after its U.K. market tweeted “women belong in the kitchen” to highlight a scholarship program for women who want to be head chefs. Critics hammered the tweet for using a sexist trope to get attention. Machado initially defended the tweet before it was removed.

View source version at Burger King

Pizza Hut U.S. Makes Some Management Changes

Chief Marketing Officer George Felix is leaving the company, which also named a new marketing structure and said that Lynne Broad will become CFO in May.

By Jonathan Maze on Mar. 31, 2021

George Felix is stepping down as chief marketing officer for Pizza Hut U.S. on Thursday, parent company Yum Brands confirmed on Thursday, amid a host of changes at the Plano, Tex.-based pizza chain.

Felix’s departure comes amid an overhaul in the chain’s marketing leadership. David Graves, the chain’s chief brand officer, has taken on an expanded role as general manager, overseeing all of Pizza Hut’s marketing efforts.

Georgeanne Erickson is now the chain’s chief brand officer and will report to Graves along with Chief Marketing Officer Lindsay Morgan. Erickson is an eight-year Pizza Hut veteran, most recently as director of brand marketing. Morgan has been Pizza Hut's director of brand communications.

Lynne Broad, meanwhile, was named chief financial officer for the chain, effective May 6. She has been chief financial and information officer for KFC South Pacific.

Graves and Broad will report to Kevin Hochman, who has been interim president of the brand for more than a year.

Hochman came over to the brand from KFC’s U.S. market in February 2020. That was when Felix was named chief marketing officer while Graves was named chief brand officer. The changes were made amid a difficult period for the brand—which was coming off a quarter in which its same-store sales declined 4%.

The chain’s sales fortunes have turned around in a hurry as the company closed some of its traditional dine-in locations and takeout and delivery thrived during the pandemic—same-store sales rose 8% in the fourth quarter, for instance.

Pizza Hut has been aggressive in its marketing, with ads reminding customers of its 1980s heyday—using a Pac Man board on the chain’s pizza boxes. It started selling pizzas with plant-based sausage last year and introduced a Detroit-style pizza this year. More recently it announced the creation of 1,500 drive-up windows at its locations for carryout orders.

View source version at Pizza Hut

JAB Promotes Joachim Creus and David Bell to Senior Partner

March 31, 2021 03:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

LUXEMBOURG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--JAB is pleased to announce the promotions of Joachim Creus and David Bell to the newly created position of Senior Partner, effective immediately. Both Mr. Bell and Mr. Creus will continue to report to Managing Partner and CEO Olivier Goudet, supporting both him and Managing Partner and Chairman Peter Harf. These promotions are another milestone in JAB’s continued focus on building and expanding the firm to position it for long-term growth.

Mr. Creus has been with JAB for over 10 years and has played a critical role in building it into a global investment company. He has been at the center of JAB’s major investments and expansion initiatives, including all of its platform acquisitions and the creation of JAB Consumer Fund. Mr. Creus has also worked extensively with and continues to support JAB’s legacy anchor shareholder group. Mr. Creus will continue to be based in London and work closely with JAB’s Managing Partners to oversee JAB’s managed capital across its ecosystem, including JAB Consumer Fund. Mr. Creus serves as a Director for many JAB companies, including JDE Peet’s and Coty.

Mr. Bell joined JAB in 2012 and, over the past nine years, has overseen JAB’s major platform acquisitions, including the take-private of Keurig Green Mountain and subsequent merger with Dr Pepper Snapple Group to form Keurig Dr Pepper, the take-privates of Krispy Kreme, Panera Bread, Peet’s Coffee, and Caribou Coffee, and the recent acquisitions of NVA and Compassion-First. Mr. Bell has also played a pivotal role overseeing and driving shareholder value across JAB’s portfolio companies, including in strategy, financing and business development. Mr. Bell will continue to be based in Washington, D.C., and continue to focus on growing core elements of JAB’s portfolio, with particular focus on North America. He currently serves as a Director for several of JAB’s portfolio companies, including Krispy Kreme, Panera Bread, and NVA.

Mr. Goudet commented: “The continued long-term success of JAB depends on our ability to attract, nurture and invest behind the best people. The creation of the Senior Partner position is another step in fulfilling this responsibility. David and Joachim are proven leaders who have played integral roles in building the firm over the past 10 years, and we are delighted to welcome them as Senior Partners.”

About JAB

JAB Holding Company invests in consumer-focused industries with attractive long-term dynamics, including strong growth prospects, attractive margin and cash flow characteristics, and proven resiliency. Together with JAB Consumer Fund, JAB Holding Company is the largest shareholder of Keurig Dr Pepper, a leader in the North American beverage market, and has controlling stakes in JDE Peet’s, the largest pure-play fast-moving consumer goods coffee company in the world; NVA, one of the world’s largest animal care services platforms; Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, a global leader in doughnuts and other premium-quality sweet treats; Panera Bread, a leading bakery-café company; Pret A Manger, a leading company in the ready-to-eat food market; Caribou Coffee Company, a specialty retailer of high-quality premium coffee products; Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, the leader in the North American bagel category; Espresso House, the largest branded coffee shop chain in Scandinavia. JAB Holding Company is also the largest shareholder in Coty Inc., a global leader in beauty, and owns luxury goods company Bally.

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Chipotle Names Matt Carey and Mauricio Gutierrez to its Board of Directors

Mar 30, 2021, 16:15 ET

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) today announced two new additions to its board of directors, Matt Carey and Mauricio Gutierrez, effective immediately.

"We have been intentional in our efforts to identify leading executives with diverse backgrounds to bring unique perspectives and expertise to the business as we continue to deliver on our mission of cultivating a better world," said Brian Niccol, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Their deep knowledge and vast experience will be instrumental in helping Chipotle achieve its strategic objectives."

With the board composition changes announced today, the Chipotle Board will now be comprised of 11 directors, 10 of whom are independent. Matt Carey will serve on the Audit and Risk Committee and brings additional IT and cybersecurity experience, while Mauricio Gutierrez will add executive experience to the Compensation Committee. The board is committed to ongoing director refreshment and continues to consider new, qualified independent directors.

"It's my honor to join these well respected leaders and serve on the board of an organization that is committed to pushing the boundaries of technology and sustainability to better serve its guests and the world," said Mauricio Gutierrez. "I look forward to lending my diverse experience to help accelerate Chipotle's business and goals."

Matt Carey added: "Chipotle is a leader in digital technology, investing heavily in tools that allow for a seamless guest experience in their ongoing pursuit for increasing access and convenience. I believe this organization has tremendous opportunity for growth and look forward to contributing to its success."


Matt Carey is the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of The Home Depot, Inc., a role he's held since September 2008. Prior to that, Mr. Carey served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at eBay Inc. He also held various positions with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., with his final role as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Carey previously served as a member of the board of directors of Geeknet Inc. and TransUnion Corp.

Mr. Carey received an Associate of Applied Science from Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee. He has significant operational and strategic leadership experience and also brings extensive know-how with information technology, cybersecurity and managing a global retail environment.

Mauricio Gutierrez is the President and Chief Executive Officer of NRG Energy, Inc., a role he's held since December 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Gutierrez held the position of Chief Operating Officer and several other executive roles at NRG since joining the company in 2004. He held various positions within Dynegy's commercial and trading organization and Mexico City-based DTP Consultores. Mr. Gutierrez serves on the boards of NRG Energy, Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA), Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP) and Drexel University.

Mr. Gutierrez has a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad Panamericana, a master's degree in mineral economics from the Colorado School of Mines and a master's degree in petroleum economics from the French Petroleum Institute. As a chief executive officer, he has experience with transformational initiatives and strategic planning for long-term value creation. He also brings significant expertise in sustainability, risk management and corporate governance.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is cultivating a better world by serving responsibly sourced, classically-cooked, real food with wholesome ingredients without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Chipotle had over 2,750 restaurants as of December 31, 2020, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany and is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its restaurants. With nearly 88,000 employees passionate about providing a great guest experience, Chipotle is a longtime leader and innovator in the food industry. Chipotle is committed to making its food more accessible to everyone while continuing to be a brand with a demonstrated purpose as it leads the way in digital, technology and sustainable business practices. Steve Ells, founder, first opened Chipotle with a single restaurant in Denver, Colorado in 1993. For more information or to place an order online, visit WWW.CHIPOTLE.COM.

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McDonald's Names Desiree Ralls-Morrison as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Mar 29, 2021, 17:35 ET

CHICAGO, March 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) announced today that Desiree Ralls-Morrison has been named the company's General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, overseeing global legal operations and corporate governance. Ralls-Morrison will start on April 26, 2021 and will be based at the company's Chicago headquarters in the West Loop.

Ralls-Morrison most recently served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Boston Scientific Corporation, a world leader of innovative medical solutions.

"I'm thrilled that Desiree is joining our team not just for the strong experience she brings, but for the values-based leadership that has defined every aspect of her career," said Chris Kempczinski, McDonald's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Her commitment to leading with integrity, along with her work to support positive change in communities, will strengthen our efforts to bring our values to life across the business. As the leader of our Global Legal function, I'm confident that Desiree will build on the strong foundation in place to deepen our commitment to our communities, embed our values across all aspects of the System and help us further bring our Accelerating the Arches growth strategy to life."

"McDonald's role in communities is known throughout the world, and I am proud and humbled to be joining a company with such an immense impact," said Ralls-Morrison. "The challenges are complex, but the opportunities are significant. I look forward to leading this talented legal team as we support Chris, the Senior Leadership Team and the entire System to deliver on McDonald's business priorities and its vital purpose to feed and foster communities."

Prior to Boston Scientific Corporation, Ralls-Morrison served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Boehringer Ingelheim USA, Inc., and General Counsel of the Consumer Group at Johnson & Johnson. Ralls-Morrison currently serves on the Board of Directors for DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. and was previously a Director for The Partnership, Inc., whose mission is to ensure the economic competitiveness of the Boston area by attracting, retaining and convening professionals of color. Desiree was also a Founding Member of The New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund in Massachusetts.

In 2019, Desiree was named one of the most powerful women in corporate America by Black Enterprise Magazine, and in 2020, she was named as one on the top innovative General Counsels around the world by the Financial Times.

Ralls-Morrison earned her juris doctor from Harvard Law School and her Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from Wesleyan University.

For more information about Ralls-Morrison, see click here.

About McDonald's McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with over 39,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 93% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business owners.

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Shake Shack Announces Tara Comonte Stepping Down as President and CFO

Shake Shack Creates Board Sub-Committee to Lead CFO Search

Ms. Comonte to Remain Through Q1 Earnings Cycle, With Her Final Day May 7th

March 29, 2021 04:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Shake Shack Inc. (“Shake Shack” or the “Company”) (NYSE: SHAK) today announced that Tara Comonte, President and Chief Financial Officer for the last four years, will depart the Company to become CEO of a private company outside of the restaurant industry.

Comonte, who joined Shake Shack in 2017, will remain in her current role through May 7, 2021 to oversee the Company's fiscal first quarter 2021 reporting period and ensure a thorough transition of her responsibilities. The Company is in the process of retaining a firm to manage the search for a new Chief Financial Officer, led by a sub-committee of the Board of Directors. Ms. Comonte’s responsibilities will be transitioned to other existing members of the Shake Shack leadership team until such time as the search is concluded.

Randy Garutti, CEO of Shake Shack stated, "On behalf of our Board and our entire team, I want to thank Tara for her many contributions over the past 4 years. I’m thrilled to see her take on a CEO role and our Shack team will be rooting for her every success. She leaves the company with an incredibly strong team and foundation that is well positioned for our accelerated growth ahead. We’re beginning to exit the pandemic, returning to a robust development schedule, leveraging our broad array of new formats and digital channels and continuing to build this beloved global brand.”

Tara Comonte commented, "It has been a huge honor to help lead this incredible brand through such a transformational period of growth. Shake Shack is a very special place, full of passionate, high-performing, talented leaders, each of whom I will sincerely miss. I’m excited to watch their success and growth continue around the world for many years to come and will remain one of their biggest fans. I would like to thank everyone at Shake Shack for the last wonderful four years, a time I will forever treasure. I wish everyone in the company every success.”

About Shake Shack

Shake Shack is a modern day "roadside" burger stand serving a classic American menu of premium burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, crinkle cut fries, shakes, frozen custard, beer and wine. With its fresh, simple, high-quality food at a great value, Shake Shack is a fun and lively community gathering place with widespread appeal. Shake Shack’s mission is to Stand for Something Good®, from its premium ingredients and caring hiring practices to its inspiring designs and deep community investment. Since the original Shack opened in 2004 in NYC’s Madison Square Park, the Company has expanded to approximately 320 locations in 30 U.S. States and the District of Columbia, including more than 107 international locations including London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Philippines, Mexico, Istanbul, Dubai, Tokyo, Seoul and more.

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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. Appoints Darla Morse as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer

March 29, 2021 04:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ:RRGB) ("Red Robin" or the "Company"), a full-service restaurant chain serving an innovative selection of high-quality gourmet burgers in a family-friendly atmosphere, today announced the appointment of Darla Morse as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, effective April 12, 2021. In her new role, she will lead the company’s enterprise technology strategy and implementation at Red Robin, including digital platforms, corporate and restaurant systems, data management, security and infrastructure.

Paul J.B. Murphy III, Red Robin's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are thrilled to welcome Darla as our CIO. She brings to Red Robin significant experience enabling business strategies through technology solutions that elevate guest engagement, operational execution and brand affinity. Her strong track record in the restaurant and entertainment industries will help accelerate our transformation strategy and related technology evolution. We believe she is a great fit for our Company as we position our brand for sustained, profitable growth."

Ms. Morse joins Red Robin with more than 25 years of experience in IT, having held senior roles at Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and Inspire Brands. Most recently, she served as Chief Information Officer at CKE Restaurants Holdings, where she led all technology and strategy functions for 4,000 company and franchised Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants operating in 45 states and 42 countries. She was recruited to CKE Restaurants by Roark Capital Group, from another of their investments, Inspire Brands, where she previously held the position of Chief Information Officer and led technology strategy for its portfolio of over 7,000 quick-service and casual franchised and company Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Sonic Drive-In restaurants operating across all 50 states.

Ms. Morse holds a Masters of Business Administration from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science from Florida Southern College.

About Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ:RRGB)

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (, is a casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1969 that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Red Robin International, Inc., and under the trade name, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews. We believe nothing brings people together like burgers and fun around our table, and no one makes moments of connection over craveable food more memorable than Red Robin. We serve a variety of burgers and mainstream favorites to Guests of all ages in a casual, playful atmosphere. In addition to our many burger offerings, Red Robin serves a wide array of salads, appetizers, entrees, desserts, signature beverages and Donatos® pizza at select locations. It's now easy to enjoy Red Robin anywhere with online ordering available for to-go, delivery and catering. There are more than 540 Red Robin restaurants across the United States and Canada, including those operating under franchise agreements. Red Robin… YUMMM®!

View source version at Red Robin

Texas Chicken and Church’s Texas Chicken Appoints New Leadership

March 26, 2021

Atlanta, GA  (  Church’s Chicken®, the global quick-service restaurant chain and it’s international sister brands Texas Chicken™ and Church’s Texas Chicken™, recently announced two new appointments to the international leadership team. Seasoned restaurant executive Gregg Gallagher was named Vice President, Americas and Cinthia Nehring-Salm was promoted to Director, International Marketing. Both will report directly to Kevin Corning, EVP International Business.

“We are fortunate to have Gregg and Cinthia take on these new roles and look forward to working with them to grow our business,” said Karen Viera, SVP and Global Chief People Officer for Church’s Chicken. “I have confidence in their leadership and in the tremendous work being done by the collective regional leadership team.”

Gregg Gallagher

Backed by more than 15 years of international restaurant executive experience, Gregg Gallagher joins Church’s as the new Vice President, Americas. Most recently, Gallagher served as Senior Director, International Business Development at Inspire Brands, leading global development for Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, and Jimmy John’s.

At Inspire Brands, Gallagher drove business growth through exceptional franchisee-client relations, negotiated mutually profitable deals, and excelled in cross-cultural sales. Prior to this, Gallagher spent two years at Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen as Director, International Business Development before being promoted to Head of Latin America and the Caribbean. During that time, Gallagher’s full spectrum coordination of the new market launch brought Popeye’s into Mexico, which included site selection, supply chain, construction management, training and on-site support.

In his new position, Gallagher will leverage his extensive expertise to serve as the leader driving sales through the planning, development, and execution of the Americas international growth strategy.

Church’s is well-known for its legacy of innovative leadership and I’m honored to join a brand that has such a strong international footprint,” said Gallagher. “I look forward to contributing to the continued growth of the company by expanding its brand presence and building enhanced franchise relationships.”

Cinthia Nehring-Salm

Cinthia Nehring-Salm recently served as Regional Marketing Manager for Church’s, where she led the marketing planning and execution for the Americas. In this capacity, she represented 300 restaurants in the largest international region, encompassing Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, Honduras, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Curacao, and Venezuela. Nehring-Salm is a marketer with over 20 years of experience building major multi-national brands. As a brand builder, she has had the opportunity of working in three sides of marketing: Media, Brand, and Consulting which has giving her a unique vision for building brands.

During Nehring-Salm’s more than five years with the brand, the Americas region generated strong and consistent comp sales growth. Her region delivered the strongest comp sales results in 2020, despite the global COVID-19 crisis. Her ability to be nimble and responsive early on with the pandemic, allowed her to generate a steady stream of engaging and well-crafted marketing materials to help the region’s franchisees compete during these challenging times.

As Director, International Marketing, Nehring-Salm will be responsible for the design, coordination and direction of all international marketing initiatives for the development and growth of Church’s Chicken internationally, with special focus on Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East/North Africa. She will work with Regional Field Directors, Regional Field Managers, and Regional Marketing Managers to analyze business trends and forecast sales. She will also be responsible for designing menu boards, creating marketing plans for entry into new countries, and developing annual marketing calendars, as well as a number of other marketing initiatives.

In addition to functionally reporting to Kevin Corning, EVP International Business, Nehring-Salm will link to the Global Marketing organization, led by Brian Gies, EVP and Global Chief Marketing Officer.

“Cinthia’s experience and knowledge will be instrumental as we continue to expand our international business. She has consistently demonstrated her talents in the marketing space and we are very pleased to see her grow with the brand,” Gies said.

Additional Promotions To International Leadership

Church’s also recently announced the following promotions as they continue to grow their international presence.

Tamer El Sahn, Regional Franchise Director, of Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), has been promoted to Senior Director EMEA. In his new leadership role, Tamer will lead growth of the Texas Chicken brand across the EMEA region.

El Sahn joined the brand as Regional Marketing Manager in 2015 and was promoted to Sr. Regional Marketing Manager in 2019 and to Senior Director, Texas Chicken (EMEA) in 2020. He has worked closely with franchisees, assisted in the positive comp sales growth and expansion into new markets. El Sahn was also instrumental in the brand re-launch for Texas Chicken and Church’s Chicken.

El Sahn’s other notable achievements include the development of a 5-year growth strategy for the region; led the in-region roll-out of Texas Chicken Mobile App; successfully opened restaurants in new cities in recent months, e.g., Jeddah, Baghdad, and Karachi; and successfully organized engagement platforms such as the Virtual Summit and Quarterly Newsletter.

Ghassan Freih has been promoted to Sr. Regional Franchise Manager for EMEA. Freih joined the brand in 2018 and supported the increase in the number of training restaurants to nine across the region. He successfully opened stores in Baghdad, Lahore and Karachi. Ghassan’s new role will include Development and Profitability in addition to Operations and Training.

For the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, Albert Chan has been promoted to Senior Director APAC. In his new leadership role, Chan will lead growth of the Texas Chicken brand across the APAC region.

Chan joined the brand in 2016 as Regional Franchise Manager and was promoted to Senior Regional Franchise Manager (APAC) in 2019. He proved to be integral in leading franchise relations in Thailand, the fastest growing market in the world, and in supporting rapid-growth countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam.

Among Chan’s significant accomplishments, he served as project leader for the Cambodia market entry and opened the first store in December 2020 with four more stores in the pipeline. He rolled out remote OER and supported the opening of more than 40+ new restaurants in the region throughout 2020.

“Over the past two years, our international market represented the strongest driver of growth,” added Viera. “It is through our leadership that we have been able to achieve and maintain this trajectory. This new team alignment will allow us to better serve and support our franchise partners in these markets and stay the course to reach our shared goals.”

Additional images available here.

About Church’s Chicken® / Texas Chicken™/ Church’s Texas Chicken™

Founded in San Antonio, Texas, in 1952 by George W. Church, Church’s Chicken® is one of the largest quick-service restaurant chicken chains in the world. Church’s® specializes in Original and Spicy Chicken freshly prepared throughout the day in small batches that are hand-battered and double-breaded, Chicken Sandwich, Texas Tenders, Honey-Butter Biscuits™ made from scratch and freshly baked, and classic, homestyle sides all for a great value. Church’s® (along with its sister brands Church’s Texas Chicken in the Americas and Texas Chicken® outside the Americas) has more than 1,500 locations in 26 countries and international territories. During two national media windows the brand drove sales performance that outpaced the broader QSR category. For more information, visit Follow Church’s® on Facebook at and Twitter at

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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. Appoints Anddria Varnado to its Board of Directors

March 25, 2021 04:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB) ("Red Robin" or the "Company"), a full-service restaurant chain serving an innovative selection of high-quality gourmet burgers in a family-friendly atmosphere, today announced it has appointed Anddria Varnado as an independent Director to its Board, effective immediately.

Ms. Varnado currently serves as the GM and Head of the Consumer Business for Kohler Company, a global leader in home products, hospitality destinations, and systems. In this role, Ms. Varnado is directly responsible for consumer channels including Kohler Signature Stores as well as e-commerce sales on She leads a team of 250+ spanning store operations, e-commerce, digital experience, DTC marketing, customer care, and dealer-direct business. Ms. Varnado previously served as Vice President and Head of Strategy & Business Development for both Macy’s Inc. and Williams-Sonoma, Inc., and began her career as a corporate banking analyst with Citigroup. Ms. Varnado also currently serves as Director of publicly-traded Umpqua Bank (NASDAQ: UMPQ) and is a member of the Finance & Capital Committee and Compensation Committee.

"Anddria is an extraordinary leader with a history of driving long term growth through strategic innovation at several global retail brands. Her insights on enhancing digital guest engagement and brand affinity will be integral as Red Robin works to create sustainable growth," said David A. Pace, Red Robin’s Board Chair. "Anddria’s appointment to our Board continues the refresh begun in August of 2019 and represents the 6th new independent Director added to our Board in addition to CEO, Paul Murphy. Our Board and management team continue to lead a transformation strategy that will position Red Robin for long term success."

Ms. Varnado holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Clark Atlanta University. She volunteers with numerous nonprofit and charitable organizations, including Junior League, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and HBS Community Partners. In 2018, the San Francisco Business Times named her one of the "Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business." Ms. Varnado has been featured in Forbes, Architectural Digest, and other industry and consumer publications.

The Company also announced that long-serving Director Glenn Kaufman will step down from the Board at the end of 2021 after providing continuity through a transitional period. "It has been incredibly rewarding to serve on this Board for over 10 years, especially engaging in solving a number of capital market challenges, enhancing the talent at the senior executive and Board levels of the Company, and contributing to the strategic differentiation of the Company." Kaufman said. "The difference in Red Robin from when I first joined the Board to today is tremendous. I look forward to helping ensure a smooth transition during my remaining time at Red Robin, while personally identifying and taking on additional challenges."

Red Robin will increase its Board size from 10 to 11 to accommodate the addition of Ms. Varnado and anticipates reducing it again to 10 following Mr. Kaufman’s retirement at year end.

About Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB)

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (, is a casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1969 that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Red Robin International, Inc., and under the trade name, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews. We believe nothing brings people together like burgers and fun around our table, and no one makes moments of connection over craveable food more memorable than Red Robin. We serve a variety of burgers and mainstream favorites to Guests of all ages in a casual, playful atmosphere. In addition to our many burger offerings, Red Robin serves a wide array of salads, appetizers, entrees, desserts, signature beverages and Donatos® pizza at select locations. It's now easy to enjoy Red Robin anywhere with online ordering available for to-go, delivery and catering. There are more than 540 Red Robin restaurants across the United States and Canada, including those operating under franchise agreements. Red Robin… YUMMM®!

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Pokeworks Refreshes C-Suite to Enhance Brand Vision in Post-Pandemic Era

March 24, 2021

Leading Fast-Casual Poke Chain Welcomes COO, CMO and CDO, Paving the Path to Growth in 2021

Irvine, CA  (  Pokeworks, the nation’s largest and fastest-growing poke franchise, has announced its high-level executive additions by welcoming Michael Walters as the new Chief Operating Officer, Steve Heeley as the New Chief Marketing Officer and Larry Sidoti as the new Chief Development Officer as the brand plans to expand its footprint in the post-pandemic, quick-service restaurant landscape.

Serving as the brand’s interim COO since September of 2020, Michael Walters has brought unmatched value and experience to the Pokeworks’ team. He strengthened the structure of the organization by implementing procedures that ensure guests always receive an exceptional experience at Pokeworks restaurants. Walters also invested in the brand by bringing in new talent that will help streamline the franchise network to help them become even better operators. Especially crucial amid the global pandemic, Walters helped strengthen communications between Pokeworks’ corporate departments and franchisees to create a more integrated and cohesive brand. Now, as the permanent COO, Walters will continue to use the momentum he established and guide Pokeworks to new and exciting heights in the fast casual franchise industry.

Steve Heeley joins the Pokeworks team with an extensive background in brand management, menu creation and health-centered restaurant development. Prior to joining the Pokeworks team as CMO, Heeley held the role of CEO at Veggie Grill, where he spearheaded the growth of the plant-based, fast-casual concept through rebranding, new menu development and digital transformation. His roster of past executive roles held in the industry include Earl of Sandwich, Au Bon Pain, The Coffee Bean Tea Leaf and Beja Fresh. As the CMO of Pokeworks, Heeley will oversee the marketing department while spearheading efforts surrounding revenue strategy, including brand and digital strategy, product development and customer relationship management.

Larry Sidoti is welcomed by the poke concept as the new Chief Development Officer, where he will oversee the development team and lead the brand’s real estate and site selection strategy, construction management and franchise recruitment. Before taking on this role with Pokeworks, Sidoti was the CDO for Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, where he helped bring nearly 50 new locations to the franchise system. Larry also held executive positions at Paris Baguette, Ruby’s Diner, Yogurtland, Ms. Fields, and Juice it Up.

“Pokeworks began with nine founders who shared a vision to create a concept that delivers fresh, healthy and delicious poke to all, and have grown from one location in Manhattan to over sixty locations worldwide in just five years,” said Michael Chen, President and Co-Founder of Pokeworks. “We strive to continue to innovate, grow and improve our operations, and that is why we are thrilled to welcome Michael, Steve and Larry to our team to help carry our vision while also giving us a new point of view.”

Founded in 2015, Pokeworks is building on momentum largely fueled by its millennial relevance and deep-rooted commitment to sustainability efforts and has grown to 60 locations open across the United States. Pokeworks is actively seeking multi-unit franchise partners to join its team of highly ambitious and hardworking entrepreneurs. The average investment for a Pokeworks is $260,000 to $660,000. For more information about the Pokeworks franchise opportunity, please visit

About Pokéworks

Founded in 2015, Pokeworks is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing poke brands in North America with 60 locations open and more than 130 under development. Offering guests an authentic taste of the islands, Pokeworks provides a fresh take on Hawaiian-inspired poke burritos, bowls and salads derived from the highest quality ingredients. The brand’s unique menu allows for complete customization to cater to almost anyone, including those maintaining gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan as well as cooked or raw protein diets. For more information about Pokeworks, visit

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Michael Moore Joins Parched Hospitality Group as Chief Operations Officer

March 24, 2021

New York, NY  (  Fast growing New York restaurant group, Parched Hospitality Group (PHG) has secured the services of well-known industry executive Michael Moore who joins the team as Chief Operations Officer.

Moore joins PHG with over three decades of world-class experience scaling high profile concepts from early stages through to national and international prominence. Moore was instrumental in growing The Cheesecake Factory, completing 90 new restaurant openings beginning with their third store. He was ultimately the Vice President of Operations responsible for 50 restaurants with annual revenues in excess of $500 million. Moore spent six years with Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants where he served as the Chief Restaurant Operations Officer and oversaw store growth from eight locations to in excess of 30. Under Moore’s tenure restaurant revenue grew to over $325 million and high value wine club membership increased fivefold to over 350,000 members. In 2019 Cooper’s Hawk was sold to private equity firm Ares Management for over $700 million. Most recently Moore served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Yardbird Group which has operations in Miami FL, Los Angeles CA, Las Vegas NV, Dallas TX, Washington DC and Singapore.

PHG is best known for their Australian café and cocktail concept, Hole in the Wall which was rated Manhattan’s #1 brunch location on Yelp! at their original Financial District location for two years running. Hole in the Wall has grown to five locations in New York with a sixth outpost slated to open in Miami in Fall 2021. PHG made a splash in 2019 opening their amenity focused membership club The Sentry NYC boasting one of the most incredible rooftop pools in Manhattan. They complimented the members only offering with a public iteration of Sentry in the Penthouse bar of Hotel Henri in the Flatiron District.

Moore is excited to return to New York City and to be involved with an exciting multi-concept group.  “From the moment I got to know Parched, I have been impressed by their creativity and I am excited by the opportunity to help grow a trailblazing brand” he said. “The growth strategy that Barry and David have identified is industry leading and I am excited to lead the charge.”

PHG Founder and CEO Barry Dry confirmed Moore’s appointment was a significant coup for the group “we conducted an extensive search to fill this role and we are thrilled to have Mike join the team. To get someone of Mike’s caliber is testament to the quality of our existing venues and to our whole team.” He went on to discuss PHG’s recent growth and hint at what’s to come “over the last nine months we have opened five new venues and we are on-track to replicate this growth in the coming year. In high growth teams it is important to have the right people onboard and Mike’s resume and experience speak for themselves.”

Parched Hospitality Group currently has eleven venues across their restaurant, bar, and membership divisions.

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Newk's Eatery Names New Senior Vice President Of Guest Experience

Marketing veteran Denise Pedini will lead marketing and IT for growing fast casual chain

Mar 23, 2021, 14:18 ET

JACKSON, Miss., March 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Newk's Eatery, the elevated fast casual chain that focuses on fresh ingredients, family recipes and hand-prepared foods, has hired 20-year marketing veteran Denise Pedini to lead the company's marketing and IT departments as senior vice president of guest experience.

Pedini, who most recently served as executive vice president of marketing at Pizza Inn, brings experience in restaurant, franchise and retail with brands including JCPenney and Pizza Hut, where she helped create and launch WingStreet, now a $1 billion brand.

At Newk's, Pedini will help the company execute major technology upgrades including an updated app to make off-premise and in-restaurant ordering easier than ever. She'll also help launch a new loyalty program slated for later this year.

"Denise brings to Newk's the background we need to make our technology transformation a success for our operations teams and our guests," said Newk's Eatery President Mike Clock. "She also demonstrates a passion for the brand and our food—a passion that is integral to everything we do at Newk's—and she has already become a key member of our leadership team."

In addition to tech innovations, Pedini will focus on elevating the brand and using effective marketing strategies and unique digital tactics to drive new awareness and gain new guests. She will also be at the forefront of rolling out seasonal new menu items throughout the year.

"I was initially drawn to Newk's because it's an incredible brand with a great story to tell, from its roots to its current focus on meaningful technology upgrades to enhance guest experience," Pedini said. "Most importantly, Newk's has an amazing team committed to quality food and outstanding guest service. I am proud to be a part of this remarkable family."

The company has already begun rolling out its app, which offers guests three convenient ways to order Newk's to go through delivery, pickup and curbside options, with a notification feature that tells the restaurant as soon as the guest arrives. An "order from your table" feature for dine-in will be added to the app later this year.

About Newk's Eatery  Based in Jackson, Mississippi, Newk's Eatery is a fast casual chain that operates and franchises more than 100 units in 16 states. Founded in 2004 and named after co-founder Chris "Newk" Newcomb, Newk's hand-preps more than 50 fresh ingredients daily for handcrafted salads, sandwiches, soups and pizzas, all made in-house without fryers or microwaves. Its Signature cakes are baked in Newk's own bakery. Fresh grab-and-go options are also available, and Newk's new mobile app, now available on Google Play and the App Store, offers mobile ordering for curbside, in-store pickup or delivery options. Since 2014, Newk's Cares, the philanthropic arm of Newk's Eatery launched by Newcomb's late wife and co-founder Lori Newcomb after her stage 3c ovarian cancer diagnosis, has raised more than $1.6 million to support Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA). In 2020, Newk's Eatery ranked in Nation's Restaurant News Top 200 Countdown and Restaurant Business' Top 250 Chains. Newk's has also been selected as a Top Food Franchise by Entrepreneur. For more information, visit, join the e-Club or follow Newk's on InstagramLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

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Texas Roadhouse Promotes President Jerry Morgan to CEO

March 19, 2021 07:00 ET

LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Texas Roadhouse, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: TXRH) Board of Directors announced today that President Jerry Morgan will also assume the title of Chief Executive Officer of the Louisville-based restaurant company. The promotion is effective immediately.

Morgan’s appointment to CEO was part of the Company’s succession plan, which was enacted following the passing of Kent Taylor, the founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board on March 18, 2021.

“While you never expect the loss of such a visionary as Kent, our succession plan, which Kent led, gives us great confidence. Jerry’s operational background and 20-plus years of Texas Roadhouse experience will be key in helping the Company and Roadies move forward after such a tragic loss,” said Greg Moore, Lead Texas Roadhouse Director.

A 23-year veteran of Texas Roadhouse, Morgan has more than 35 years of restaurant management experience with Texas Roadhouse, Bennigan’s and Burger King. Morgan started his Texas Roadhouse career in 1997 as Managing Partner of the Company’s first restaurant in Texas. He earned the Company’s most prestigious award, Managing Partner of the Year, in 2001 and was promoted to Market Partner later that year. He was promoted to Regional Market Partner in 2015 and was appointed President in 2020.

About the Company

Texas Roadhouse is a casual dining concept with over 630 restaurants system-wide in 49 states and ten foreign countries. For more information, please visit the Company’s Web site at

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General Counsel Bryan R. Adel Retires from Dine Brands Global, Inc., Christine K. Son Appointed As Successor

March 17, 2021 05:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

GLENDALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dine Brands Global, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), the parent company of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar® and IHOP® restaurants, today announced that Bryan R. Adel, Senior Vice President, Legal, General Counsel and Secretary, has decided to retire from Dine Brands Global, Inc. effective April 23, 2021.

Since joining Dine Brands over 10 years ago, Bryan has been an instrumental leader, delivering outstanding legal and business results, and providing significant leadership through the recent pandemic. In addition to building a first-rate legal function, Bryan also led the Risk Management, Quality Assurance, Franchise Administration, Cybersecurity, Communications, Government Relations, and Internal Audit departments.

“As a leader of character and integrity, Bryan has served as a trusted advisor to the Board of Directors, and I cannot thank him enough for his extraordinary contributions and strategic counsel over the years,” stated Richard J. Dahl, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Christine K. Son, currently Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Legal, General Counsel and Secretary effective April 23, 2021. In addition to Legal, Christine will oversee Risk Management, Franchise Administration, Government Relations and Internal Audit.

“Christine has a long and successful track record with the company, working with both the IHOP and Applebee’s leadership teams. Christine is an accomplished attorney with a keen knowledge of and focus on the business; she will be an outstanding General Counsel. Bryan and Christine have been great partners. We appreciate the leadership Bryan has provided over the last 10 years at Dine as our General Counsel and we look forward to a smooth transition with Christine in her new role,” commented John Peyton, Chief Executive Officer.

About Dine Brands Global, Inc.

Based in Glendale, California, Dine Brands Global, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), through its subsidiaries, franchises restaurants under both the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill + Bar and IHOP brands. With approximately 3,500 restaurants combined in 17 countries and approximately 350 franchisees, Dine Brands is one of the largest full-service restaurant companies in the world. For more information on Dine Brands, visit the Company’s website located at

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Lori Malcolm Joins Bloomin’ Brands as Senior Vice President of Human Resources

March 16, 2021 04:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time

TAMPA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (Nasdaq:BLMN) today announced the appointment of Lori Malcolm as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Bloomin’ Brands. In this role, Malcolm will be responsible for overseeing talent management, leadership development and HR operations for the company’s Casual Dining Portfolio which includes Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill.

“Lori has a proven track record of building strong cultures of high performance,” said David Deno, Chief Executive Officer of Bloomin' Brands. “Her ability to build a transformational culture on our existing strong foundation will help strengthen our company in this rapidly evolving environment.”

Malcolm most recently served as the Chief Culture and Operations Officer for United Way Worldwide, where she built a high-performing culture throughout the organization reaching 1,800 locations in more than 40 countries. Her near 25-year career in human resources also includes a leadership role at Checkers and Rally’s Restaurants, Sweeetbay Supermarket and Walmart.

Malcolm holds a Bachelor of Science in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University.

About Bloomin’ Brands, Inc.

Bloomin' Brands, Inc. is one of the largest casual dining restaurant companies in the world with a portfolio of leading, differentiated restaurant concepts. The Company has four founder-inspired brands: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. The Company owns and operates more than 1,450 restaurants in 47 states, Guam and 20 countries, some of which are franchise locations. For more information, please visit

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Burger King Appoints New Chief Operating Officer

March 16, 2021

Industry Veteran Tom Curtis Joins Burger King Americas to Oversee Field Operations, Restaurant Development and Restaurant Operations

Miami, FL  (  Burger King® announced that industry veteran Tom Curtis will be appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Burger King Americas, joining the leadership team to oversee field operations, restaurant development and restaurant operations.

Mr. Curtis joins Burger King from industry giant Domino’s where he built an impressive 35-year career and most recently served as Executive Vice President, U.S. Operations and Support, overseeing both franchise and company-owned operations. Prior to that role he led U.S. company operations as Executive Vice President of Corporate Operations. Curtis will report to Christopher Finazzo, President of Burger King, Americas.

“We are excited to add another seasoned expert to our leadership team and for our entire system to benefit from his impressive experience and operational expertise,” said Chris Finazzo. “Tom will be an important leader and asset in our journey to provide an exceptional guest experience at Burger King, including rapidly scaling our digital capabilities and offering a consistent and loved experience at our r,estaurants.”

“I’m proud to join the iconic Burger King brand at a time when leadership is focused on building a world-class guest experience,” said Tom Curtis. “After 35 years in the industry, it’s exciting to start a new role with a loved global restaurant brand that is driving product innovation and digital leadership.”

Mr. Curtis began his career in QSR in 1985 as a Domino’s store manager. He later joined the brand as a franchisee in the New Haven, Connecticut area from 1987 until 2006. After franchising, Mr. Curtis joined Domino’s corporate in 2006.?

Tom Curtis will join the brand mid-May and will be based out of Miami HQ.


Founded in 1954, the Burger King brand is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world. The original Home of The Whopper®, the Burger King system operates more than 18,600 locations in more than 100 countries and U.S. territories. Almost 100 percent of Burger King restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of them family-owned operations that have been in business for decades. To learn more about the Burger King brand, please visit the Burger King brand website at or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

View source version at Burger King

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