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Executive Movements - October 2020

Yum! Brands Appoints DICK’S Sporting Goods President Lauren Hobart to Board

Yum! Brands, Inc. today announced the appointment of Lauren R. Hobart, President of DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc., to its Board of Directors, effective November 12, 2020. (Photo: Business Wire)

October 12, 2020 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) today announced the appointment of Lauren R. Hobart, President of DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc. (NYSE: DKS), to its Board of Directors, effective November 12, 2020.

“Lauren will make an excellent addition to the Yum! Brands Board as she brings broad leadership experience and a wealth of knowledge from well-known and highly respected retail and consumer products companies,” said Brian Cornell, Non-Executive Chairman of the Yum! Brands Board of Directors and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Target Corporation. “We look forward to the insights and many contributions she will bring as we continue to position Yum! Brands as an even stronger global growth company for all our stakeholders.”

“The events of this year have accelerated many consumer trends in the restaurant industry, particularly around digital, technology and delivery,” said David Gibbs, Chief Executive Officer, Yum! Brands. “Lauren has demonstrated strong leadership driving DICK’S digital transformation and the growth of its e-commerce business and has an impressive brand-building, operational and marketing track record. These strengths, along with Lauren’s experience in the foodservice industry, will be invaluable as we elevate and invest in our customer and employee experience with technology and innovation at the forefront.”

Yum! Brands also announced that Michael J. Cavanagh will retire from the Yum! Brands Board of Directors. Cavanagh, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Comcast Corporation, joined the Yum! Brands Board in 2012.

In addition, the Yum! Brands Board has appointed Paget Alves, former Chief Sales Officer of Sprint Corporation and a Yum! Brands Director since 2016, to serve as Chair of the Audit Committee succeeding Thomas C. Nelson, effective November 12. Nelson, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of National Gypsum Company and a Yum! Brands Director since 2006, will remain a member of the Yum! Brands Board.

“On behalf of the Board, we sincerely thank Mike for all of his contributions and the unique business perspective he has brought to Yum! Brands over the years,” said Gibbs. “We also want to thank Paget for taking on his new role as Chair of the Audit Committee and extend our gratitude to Tom for his service leading the Committee for the past eight years. We look forward to their continued leadership on the Yum! Brands Board.”

About Lauren Hobart

Hobart has served as President of DICK’S Sporting Goods, a leading omni-channel sporting goods retailer with 727 locations across the United States, since 2017. In this role, she oversees the Stores, Marketing, eCommerce, Technology, HR, Legal, and Strategy & Analytics organizations. Hobart joined DICK’S in 2011 and has held leadership roles including Executive Vice President, Chief Customer & Digital Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to joining DICK’S, Hobart spent 14 years at PepsiCo in various strategic planning and marketing roles, including Chief Marketing Officer of Carbonated Soft Drinks in North America. Prior to PepsiCo, Hobart was at Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.

In addition to her current duties, Hobart is President of The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation and serves on the DICK’S Board of Directors. She also served on the board of Sonic Corp. for five years. Hobart is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA from Stanford University.

About Yum! Brands, Inc.

Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories, making it a leader in global retail development primarily operating the company’s brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. The Company’s family of brands also includes The Habit Burger Grill, a fast-casual restaurant concept specializing in made-to-order chargrilled burgers, sandwiches and more. In 2019, Yum! Brands was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and in 2020, the company ranked among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by 3BL Media.

View source version at Yum! Brands

Jeannie Cho Joins QDOBA Mexican Eats as Chief Marketing Officer

Former PepsiCo marketer to bolster leading fast-casual restaurant chain's brand for the next phase of growth

Oct 12, 2020, 08:05 ET

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- QDOBA, the Mexican restaurant chain voted best fast-casual restaurant in 2019 and 2020 by USA Today 10Best, named Jeannie Cho Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, Cho will lead QDOBA's marketing and brand strategy to unlock additional growth for the company.

"I am excited to have Jeannie – a seasoned food-industry marketing executive – as an integral member of the QDOBA team," said Keith Guilbault, CEO of QDOBA. "She brings tremendous ability to elevate our brand position and purpose to achieve top line growth through her strategic and breakthrough thinking. I am confident that Jeannie's analytical and creative approach to marketing will lead to even greater success for QDOBA."

Prior to joining QDOBA, Cho held successive roles at PepsiCo where she led multi-billion dollar brand portfolios to industry leading growth. Most recently, she served as the Vice President of Marketing, Frito-Lay Portfolio, and previously as Vice President of Marketing, Global Brands (Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos), having also served in innovation and digital leadership positions. During her tenure, Cho launched multiple award-winning innovative brand campaigns and products, reinvigorating brands to cultural relevance and record growth. Cho received her undergraduate degree from Yale and M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

"I am excited to join QDOBA and partner with Keith and the leadership team to accelerate the growth agenda for the brand. I look forward to amplifying the brand story to unlock a taste of extra flavor to enrich the lives of our guests and the communities we serve," adds Cho.

For more information on QDOBA, visit

About QDOBA Mexican Eats

QDOBA is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant with more than 730 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Committed to bringing flavor to people's lives, QDOBA uses ingredients prepared in-house, by hand, and fresh throughout the day, to create delicious menu options. Guests can experience QDOBA's delicious flavors by enjoying one of its signature menu options that are chef-crafted for convenience and ease or by customizing their burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, salads, quesadillas, and nachos to fit their personal tastes. For two years running, QDOBA has been voted the "Best Fast Casual Restaurant" as part of the USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. Discover more at or on the QDOBA app, which is available for download on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. Fans can also connect with QDOBA on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

View source version at QDOBA

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza Brings Fresh Talent to Executive Team

Build-Your-Own Pizza Chain Appoints Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Restaurant Officer

October 08, 2020 // // PASADENA, Calif. - Since its inception, Blaze Pizza has disrupted the fast-casual industry with a myriad of consumer awards, innovative menu items and incredible growth. Now, following its recent successes, the famed fast-casual concept is bringing fresh additions to its executive team.

Blaze Pizza is welcoming Vince Szwajkowski as Chief Marketing Officer and Rick Gestring as Chief Restaurant Officer. The announcement comes just months after Blaze Pizza added Marie Zhang as Chief Supply Chain Officer and Ed Yancey as Vice President of Franchise Development to its corporate team.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be adding world class marketing and operations leaders to the Blaze executive team,” said Mandy Shaw, Blaze Pizza CEO. “Both Vince and Rick have extensive experience in building culturally relevant brands and evolving the guest journey. I’m confident that they will be pivotal in taking us into the next stages of growth.”

As Chief Marketing Officer, Szwajkowski is responsible for the development, planning and execution of all digital, marketing and brand strategy. Working closely with operations, culinary and restaurant design, he will strengthen the 360-degree customer journey across physical and digital platforms. Likewise, Szwajkowski will deepen Blaze Pizza’s lifestyle brand image, positioning it at the forefront of fast casual dining through strategic innovation.

Szwajkowski brings executive leadership to Blaze having worked on iconic brands such as ArcLight Cinemas and Hilton. Among his accomplishments, he built and launched the new ArcLight brand platform, aiming to disrupt the movie theatre industry by reengaging ArcLight’s existing customers and attracting new ones through innovative programming, partnerships, and F&B offerings. At Hilton, Szwajkowski concepted and led the global hospitality brand Motto by Hilton, creating an entirely new category of lifestyle hotels for Next Generation travelers. Previously in his tenure at Hilton he built and led the Global Brand Strategy team, where he was responsible for identifying and strategically filling gaps within the portfolio including new brand creation and global brand expansion.

“Blaze has built its reputation on disrupting the pizza space through its unique customer-centric concept and devoted following,” said Szwajkowski. “The brand is driven by stellar leadership and engaged franchisees and I am thrilled to join Mandy and the unbelievably talented team she has assembled as we grow and accelerate Blaze as an innovative lifestyle brand.”

A seasoned industry executive, Gestring joins Blaze Pizza to oversee restaurant operations and innovation, across both corporate and franchise, to drive extensive and sustainable growth. With the guest experience in mind, he is providing leadership, management and vision, while ensuring effective and efficient operational and financial procedures are in place across the system.

Before Blaze Pizza, Gestring was at Dunkin’ Brands, leading all aspects of operation systems and guest experience in over 8,500 locations. He was also one of the engineers behind the revamped guest experience and brand relaunch for Arby’s at 1,200 company and over 2,200 franchise locations.

“Culture is so important to me, and at Blaze, culture and purpose is at the core of everything we do,” said Gestring. “I’m inspired by the people behind the pizza, and the journey we are embarking on together with our guests and franchisees. When it comes to restaurant operations, we have an opportunity to take Blaze to the next level, while continuing to tell our story pragmatically and purposefully.”

About Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint” serving up artisanal pizzas that are both fast and affordable. Guests can customize one of the many chef-driven Signature Pizzas or build their own, choosing from a wide selection of real ingredients. All restaurants make the original house-made dough from scratch daily, using just a few simple ingredients to create our signature crust. Pizza fans with specific dietary needs can enjoy gluten-free and keto crusts, vegan cheese and plant-based spicy chorizo. Blaze pizzas can be ordered in-restaurant or online for carryout, curbside pickup or delivery.

Blaze was recently named pizza “brand of the year” by the Harris Poll and “America’s favorite pizza chain” by Market Force Information in 2019. Previously ranked #1 “brand of the year” in the Fast Casual Top 100, the rapidly growing chain is backed by private equity firm Brentwood Associates and founding investors that include LeBron James, Maria Shriver, movie producer John Davis and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner. For more information, visit the Blaze Pizza website.

View source version at Blaze Pizza

Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., Welcomes Neil Phillips to Its Board of Directors

Nationally Recognized Thought-Leader on Black Male Achievement to Bring Diversity Expertise to the Brand

Oct 05, 2020, 09:00 ET

TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., the parent company of Checkers & Rally's iconic drive-thru restaurants, today announced that Neil Phillips, a nationally recognized thought leader on black male achievement, minority education, character development and youth empowerment, will join the quick service company's Board of Directors.

"We are a brand of hardworking people dedicated to serving our hardworking guests, and we believe in providing opportunity to our teams while we support our communities," said Frances Allen, President and CEO of Checkers & Rally's. "Neil's outstanding work as an educator, entrepreneur, coach and youth advocate over the last 25 years gives him a valuable perspective on many of the communities we serve, and we look forward to working with him to advance our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives."

Mr. Phillips is the Co-Founder and CEO of Visible Men Academy and Founder of Visible Men Impact Network. Some of his past posts include: Assistant Headmaster at the Landon School for Boys in Bethesda, Md., and the Interim Head of Upper School at the Out-of-Door Academy in Sarasota, Fla. He also served on the Board of Directors for Washington Jesuit Academy in Northeast Washington, D.C., and the United Way of Manatee County in Florida. Mr. Phillips is an accomplished public speaker who has presented at the Aspen Institute, The Nantucket Project, Soros Foundation, NASA, and the National Association of Independent Schools, among other prestigious institutions. Mr. Phillips is a graduate of Harvard University who began his career as a professional basketball player in Australia.

"I am looking forward to working with Checkers & Rally's leadership team and Board of Directors to find meaningful ways to support their diverse franchisee, employee, and consumer base across the country," said Mr. Phillips. "This is a leadership team committed to growing and supporting their people at every level of the operation, and they are dedicated to improving the communities they serve."

About Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. Based in Tampa, Fla., Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., an iconic and innovative drive-thru restaurant chain known for its "Crazy Good Food," exceptional value, and people-first attitude, operates and franchises both Checkers® and Rally's® restaurants. With nearly 900 restaurants and room to grow, Checkers & Rally's is a proven brand with flexible building formats that is aggressively expanding across the country. Checkers & Rally's is dedicated to being a place where franchisees and employees who work hard can create opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities. In recent years, the brand has earned several of the industry's most prestigious awards including: "#1 Most Craveable Fries" by Restaurant Business; Best Franchise Deal and "Best Drive-Thru in America" by QSR Magazine; Top Food and Beverage Franchise by Franchise Business Review; the "Hot! Again" award from Nation's Restaurant News and has consistently been ranked on Entrepreneur's Franchise 500.

View source version at Checkers

Papa John’s Appoints Ann Gugino as Chief Financial Officer

October 5, 2020

Proven leader with over 20 years of financial management, planning and strategic experience, including in the consumer and retail sector

Louisville, KY  (  Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) today announced the appointment of Ann Gugino as Chief Financial Officer, effective today. Steve Coke, who has been serving as interim principal financial and accounting officer, will continue in his role as Vice President, Investor Relations and Strategy.

Ms. Gugino joins the company from Target Corporation and brings over 20 years of financial management, planning and strategic expertise. As a key member of Papa John’s Executive Leadership Team, she will help build and implement the company’s long-term plans for profitable growth and shareholder value creation.

“After a careful search for a candidate whose values, passion and expertise align with Papa John’s core values and business needs, I’m thrilled to welcome Ann Gugino to our team. Ann is a proven leader and change agent, who brings deep experience in the consumer and retail sector, including driving demand and profitability across digital and traditional commerce at Target,” said Rob Lynch, President and CEO. “Ann’s appointment rounds out one of the most capable and diverse leadership teams in our industry. The breadth and depth of our team’s strengths, backgrounds and perspectives are crucial advantages for Papa John’s and essential to our long-term innovation and growth plans. Last, I want to thank Steve Coke for providing a seamless transition as interim CFO and leading the finance team during such a momentous period for the company while we conducted this search.”

Commenting on her new role, Ann Gugino said, “I’m both humbled and excited to join such a dynamic and dedicated team at this important moment for the company. Papa John’s transformation into a values-driven, innovative category leader has opened an enormous global opportunity. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to help set a long-term path and plan to maximize our growth and potential for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.”

Most recently at Target Corporation, Ms. Gugino served as Senior Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis, providing overall strategy, guidance and direction in the development and execution of Target’s planning, analysis and capital investment portfolios. Prior to that, Ms. Gugino spent 18 years at publicly held Patterson Companies Inc., including four years as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In that role, Ms. Gugino led the company through a major portfolio transformation, including a major acquisition and divestiture, and spearheaded an enterprise-wide effort to improve net margins and create a more efficient cost structure, among other accomplishments.

About Papa John’s

Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) opened its doors in 1984 with one goal in mind: BETTER INGREDIENTS. BETTER PIZZA. Papa John’s believes that using high quality ingredients leads to superior quality pizzas. Its original dough is made of only six ingredients and is fresh, never frozen. Papa John’s tops its pizzas with real cheese made from mozzarella, pizza sauce made with vine-ripened tomatoes that go from vine to can in the same day and meat free of fillers. It was the first national pizza delivery chain to announce the removal of artificial flavors and synthetic colors from its entire food menu. Papa John’s is headquartered in Louisville, KY and is the world’s third largest pizza delivery company with more than 5,300 restaurants in 48 countries and territories as of June 28, 2020. For more information about the Company or to order pizza online, visit or download the Papa John’s mobile app for iOS or Android.

View source version at Papa John's

Panera Hires Lauren Cody as Chief of Staff and Chief Customer Officer

September 30, 2020

St. Louis, MO  (  Today, Panera Bread announces the appointment of Lauren Cody as Chief of Staff and Chief Customer Officer. A dynamic leader with global experience, Cody comes to the brand with more than two decades of experience in the food service industry.

Cody has extensive expertise in consumer and business insights, general management and strategy creation and execution at companies within the US and globally.

“It’s an exciting time at Panera and we are very pleased to have Lauren join us as Chief of Staff and Chief Customer Officer, reporting directly to me,” said Niren Chaudhary, Panera CEO. “Panera is a brand that puts our guests first, and with Lauren driving strategy at the helm of our Customer Care division, we are excited to continue toward becoming one of the most customer- responsive brands in the industry.”

Cody joins Panera after working at top restaurant brands including McDonalds and Burger King. In her recent 13 year tenure at McDonalds, Cody took on executive positions including Managing Director for the Norwegian market, Vice President of Strategy & Insights for the UK and her most recent role of Corporate Vice President where she handled Consumer and Business insights globally. Cody’s hire is part of an expansion of Panera’s leadership team, which boasts an array of industry veterans from McDonalds, Kraft, Yum! Brands, Unilever, Pepsi, CVS, Accenture and Coca-Cola.

“To join the executive team at Panera at such a pivotal time in our industry is an exciting challenge,” Cody said. “Customers are consistently raising the bar for their favorite brands and Panera is well-positioned to exceed our guest expectations. I look forward to helping drive the strategy as Panera continues its tradition of innovation and leadership in the food industry.”

About Panera Bread

Thirty years ago, at a time when quick service meant low quality, Panera set out to challenge this expectation. We believed that food that was good and that you could feel good about, served in a warm and welcoming environment by people who cared, could bring out the best in all of us. To us, that is food as it should be and that is why we exist.

So, we began with a simple commitment: to bake bread fresh every day in our bakery-cafes. No shortcuts, just bakers with simple ingredients and hot ovens. Each night, any unsold bread and baked goods were shared with neighbors in need.

These traditions carry on today, as we have continued to find ways to be an ally for wellness to our guests. That means crafting a menu of soups, salads and sandwiches that we are proud to feed our families. Like poultry and pork raised without antibiotics on our salads and sandwiches. A commitment to transparency and options that empower our guests to eat the way they want. Seasonal flavors and whole grains. And a commitment to removing or not using artificial additives (preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, and colors from artificial sources on our No No list) in the food in our bakery-cafes. Why? Because we think that simpler is better and we believe in serving food as it should be. Because when you don’t have to compromise to eat well, all that is left is the joy of eating.

We’re also focused on improving quality and convenience. With investments in technology and operations, we now offer new ways to enjoy your Panera favorites – like mobile ordering and Rapid Pick-Up® for to-go orders and delivery – all designed to make things easier for our guests.

As of June 30, 2020, there were 2,128 bakery-cafes in 48 states and in Ontario, Canada, operating under the Panera Bread® or Saint Louis Bread Co.® names. For more information, visit or find us on Twitter (@panerabread), Facebook ( or Instagram (@panerabread).

View source version at Panera Bread

Uncle Julio’s Names Dan Wheeler New CMO

September 29, 2020

Restaurant group lands industry veteran to support company’s next level of growth

Irving, TX  (  Uncle Julio’s Restaurant Group has appointed noted industry marketer and innovator Dan Wheeler as Chief Marketing Officer. Wheeler brings more than 30 years of experience building compelling communications and brand experiences to support and further growth plans at Uncle Julio’s.

Wheeler’s role as CMO includes leading brand strategy, digital marketing, new revenue generation and menu innovation. As the digital space has become increasingly important for customer engagement, Wheeler will focus on expanding the use of technology to drive trial and loyalty among current and new audiences, as well as bringing a virtual brand to market. He reports to Tom Vogel, CEO of Uncle Julio’s Restaurant Group.

“Dan’s restaurant experience and innovative perspective make him a perfect fit for the stage we are at as a company,” Vogel said. “He will play an important role in driving growth across all of our concepts as we accelerate the pace of new initiatives related to growing off-premise and on-premise sales.”

In a year that has necessitated reinvention for many brands, Uncle Julio’s has been able to successfully leverage its focus on quality, freshness and creating memories in new and exciting ways.

An expanded to-go program has been a hit with customers, and by offering delivery through third-party partners, the brand has been able to provide its high-quality fare to a wider audience. Wheeler, a veteran of bringing brands like Wahlburgers, Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins into consumer’s daily lives in new and relevant ways, will help push transformation further for the group’s current portfolio of restaurants and pursue additional channels for revenue growth.

“I’m super pumped about the opportunity in front of us at Uncle Julio’s,” Wheeler noted. “When you have a company full of people fanatically dedicated to creating memorable experiences for all these years, who are also open to contemporary new ideas, the space is created for something magical to happen.”

About Uncle Julio’s

Uncle Julio’s serves made-from-scratch Mexican cuisine, using fresh ingredients and authentic recipes to create its signature taste in everything from mesquite-grilled meats to hand-crafted margaritas. Headquartered in the Dallas, Texas area, the first Uncle Julio’s opened in 1986 and continues to expand to define the polished casual Mexican industry. To find a location near you or to peruse the mouth-watering menu, visit, or connect with Uncle Julio’s on Facebook @UncleJulios and Instagram @UncleJuliosMexican.

View source version at Uncle Julio's

Golden Chick Appoints Howard Terry as Chief Marketing Officer

September 28, 2020

The former Senior VP of Marketing and QSR expert receives new title

Dallas, TX  (  Golden Chick, the 193 unit Texas-based, fast-casual chicken franchise is proud to announce it has named industry veteran Howard Terry as its chief marketing officer, effective immediately.

“Howard has been an extremely valuable asset to our team for the past five years serving as Golden Chick’s senior vice president,” said Jim Stevens, president of Golden Chick. “Under his leadership, Golden Chick’s marketing, advertising and public relations initiatives have really taken off, proving to be instrumental to our growth and success as a franchise.”

Terry currently wears multiple leadership hats, in addition to now serving as the CMO of Golden Chick, he has been the president of the 14-unit cheesesteak chain Texadelphia since 2018. Both brands are a part of Richardson, Texas-based Golden Tree Restaurants’ portfolio.

Prior to joining the Golden Tree family, Terry has over 25 years of experience working with well-known hospitality brands as a long-term marketing consultant to Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, VP of Marketing for Texas Land and Cattle and Lone Star Steakhouse, Mooyah Burgers and Fries, Boston’s Pizza Restaurants and as Director of Marketing for Denny’s and Bonanza Restaurants.

“I am extremely humbled to be able to serve as the CMO of a brand with such a rich-history and drive,” said Howard Terry, Golden Chick’s chief marketing officer. “Over the past five years, my admiration has only grown for Golden Chick and I look forward to the milestones our team will continue to achieve. I am confident that this franchise is on pace to be a major player, not only in the chicken category but in the quick-service industry.”

Prior to transitioning to brand-side, Terry started his career as a copywriter for a large advertising agency working on clients including Pennzoil Motor Oil, Whataburger and US Homes after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in advertising.

About Golden Chick

Founded in Texas in 1967, Golden Chick is a family-oriented, quick-service restaurant that prides itself on perfecting its Golden Fried Chicken, Golden Roast Chicken, Big & Golden™ Chicken Sandwich and Golden Tenders®, along with offering a variety of other chef-inspired menu items. The brand was ranked the #4 chicken franchise by Entrepreneur, included in Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 200 Restaurants in 2019 and is ranked in the top 200 of Restaurant Businesses’ Top 500 Chains for 2020. With dine-in, drive-thru, catering and home delivery service capabilities, the Golden Chick restaurant chain has more than 190 locations throughout Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Florida. For more information about Golden Chick, its signature menu items, or how to become a franchisee, please visit, like us on Facebook and check out our Twitter.

View source version at Golden Chick

Jason Melbourne to Join the Board of Directors of Restaurant Brands International

Sep 22, 2020, 17:44 ET

TORONTO, Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ - The Board of Directors of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (TSX: QSR) (NYSE: QSR) (TSX: QSP) ("RBI") announced today that Jason Melbourne was appointed to join the RBI Board of Directors as an independent member.

Mr. Melbourne is currently the Managing Director and Head of Canadian Equities at Canaccord Genuity in Toronto, Ontario. He has extensive capital market experience, including his previous roles at Genuity Capital Markets and CIBC World Markets – both based in Toronto. Mr. Melbourne is a strong supporter of public service and the community, including through his current board of director roles for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and youth basketball charity, Lay-Up, that provides free basketball programs in Toronto's priority communities.

"Jason is well-respected throughout Canada's business community and is an excellent addition to our Board of Directors. We're excited for him to join us and I know that Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes will benefit from his valued counsel," said Daniel Schwartz, Co-Chair of RBI's Board of Directors.

"We are building the world's most loved restaurant brands and giving back to our communities where we live and work is a large part of our brand identity. Jason will be an exceptional voice on the board to guide us on both our business and community strategies – especially here in Canada where Tim Hortons has a deep history of community contribution and support," said Jose Cil, Chief Executive Officer of RBI.

"It's an honour to join the RBI Board of Directors and help shape the future of three of the world's most iconic restaurant brands. I'm proud to join the other Directors and look forward to working with management on their exciting plans for growth around the world," said Jason Melbourne.

About Restaurant Brands International Restaurant Brands International Inc. is one of the world's largest quick service restaurant companies with approximately $32 billion in annual system-wide sales and over 27,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and U.S. territories. RBI owns three of the world's most prominent and iconic quick service restaurant brands – TIM HORTONS®, BURGER KING®, and POPEYES®. These independently operated brands have been serving their respective guests, franchisees and communities for over 45 years.

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CKE Restaurants Hires New Chief Financial and Chief Technology Officers, as It Continues Its Impressive Brand Performance

September 22, 2020 09:52 AM Eastern Daylight Time

FRANKLIN, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CKE Restaurant Holdings, Inc. (CKE), parent company of Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s®, today announced the hiring of Lance Tucker as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Phil Crawford as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Both executives bring extensive industry experience in food service, franchising, growth, and innovation.

“We are excited to build on the strength of our current management team with the addition of these two exceptional hires,” said Ned Lyerly, Chief Executive Officer at CKE Restaurants. “Lance and Phil will be key contributors as we build on our brands’ momentum, innovate and address new consumer behaviors.”

Tucker returns to the Southeast from his position in Southern California where he served as EVP and Chief Financial Officer for Jack in the Box, Inc. Prior to that, he spent nine years at Louisville-based Papa John’s International, Inc., most recently serving as SVP, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer and Treasurer. He will bring nearly 30 years of experience and extensive knowledge of the franchise model to the role of CKE’s CFO.

“The power of CKE’s iconic brands, combined with their experienced management team and franchisee network, represents an exciting opportunity to showcase my strengths as we create value for guests, franchisees and stakeholders,” Tucker explained. “It’s a privilege to support these brands, and I look forward to partnering with the many entrepreneurs who have chosen to bring Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. to local communities across the country and around the world.”

Crawford brings more than 20 years of experience to the role of CTO. He joins from Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., where he served as Global Chief Technology Officer. Prior to that, he served as Chief Information Officer/Head of Technology for Shake Shack, Inc. As CTO, Crawford will lead CKE’s information technology function and build a technology roadmap to transform the company into a technology-forward, data-driven organization that exceeds consumers/ evolving expectations.

“Technology is an enabler to a connected future that will transform experiences for our guests and employees, our relationship with our franchisees and how we operate globally,” said Crawford. “CKE is committed to becoming a leader in innovation, and I’m humbled by the opportunity to help them build a technology roadmap to support its business goals.”

About CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.

CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. ("CKE"), a privately held company based in Franklin, Tennessee, runs and operates Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, two beloved regional brands, known for one-of-a-kind premium and innovative menu items such as 100 percent Black Angus Thickburgers®, Made from Scratch™ Biscuits and Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™. With both a US and international footprint, Carl's Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee's Restaurants LLC have over 3,900 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 42 foreign countries and U.S. territories. For more information about CKE, please visit or its brand sites at and

View source version at CKE

Taco John’s Hires Greg Miller as New Chief Operating Officer

September 22, 2020

Popular quick-service restaurant appoints industry veteran to drive operations performance, sales growth and guest traffic

Cheyenne, WY  (  CEO of Taco John’s Jim Creel announced today that the company has welcomed Greg Miller as its new chief operating officer.

Miller brings 30 years of industry experience to Taco John’s. He spent almost 27 years at McDonald’s in a variety of operations and marketing roles, working in seven different regions across the U.S. Miller then joined Whataburger, where he served as regional director of operations for two years. Most recently, Miller was division vice president of operations at Jack in the Box and was responsible for 1,300 restaurants and $1.78 billion in sales, all while leading a team of franchise business directors.

“We are thrilled to have Greg join the Taco John’s team,” Creel said. “He is an incredibly talented and dedicated individual with several years of valuable experience in operations at other popular quick-service restaurants. We look forward to watching Greg lead our operations, training, franchise development, and restaurant technology teams in the pursuit of building on the strong legacy of excellence we’re known for at Taco John’s.”

As chief operating officer, Miller will set comprehensive, aggressive goals to increase restaurant operations performance, sales growth and guest traffic. He will benchmark operational performance against industry standards and lead the team to creating a differentiated experience for Taco John’s guests in a competitive restaurant segment.

“I am very proud to be in my new role at Taco John’s,” Miller said. “I believe I can be a driving force in getting Taco John’s restaurants everywhere to reach their full potential. I will be relocating very soon to the Minneapolis area, and I am really excited to get to know the city through working at Taco John’s during the week and enjoying fun outdoor activities with my children on the weekends.”

With its fusion of distinctive flavors and south-of-the-border spices, the Taco John’s menu offers several signature items, including Meat & Potato Burritos, Stuffed Grilled Tacos and Potato Olés®. Taco John’s features signature specials like Taco Tuesday® and discounted breakfast burritos on Wake Up Wednesday!® Download the Taco John’s App and like Taco John’s Facebook page for exclusive deals.

About Taco John’s®

Founded in 1969 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Taco John’s® has been serving bigger. bolder. better. flavors for more than 50 years. Now, Taco John’s operates and franchises nearly 400 restaurants in 22 states – making it one of the largest Mexican quick-service restaurant brands in America. With bold originals like Potato Olés®, Taco John’s knows how to Olé The Day. Taco John’s prides itself on serving generous portions of its signature menu items that are made-to-order using fresh, high-quality ingredients, seasonings and sauces. The brand was listed No. 2 in the “Mexican Food” category on Entrepreneur’s “Top Food Franchises of 2020.” Taco John’s is led by CEO Jim Creel who was recently named one of “The Most Influential Restaurant CEOs in the Country” by Nation’s Restaurant News. For more information, visit and follow Taco John’s on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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Domino's® Promotes Kelly Garcia to EVP - Chief Technology Officer

Sep 21, 2020, 16:30 ET

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Domino's Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ), the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, today announced the promotion of Senior Vice President – Chief Technology Officer Kelly Garcia to executive vice president – chief technology officer, effective Oct. 2, 2020. Garcia will join the Company's senior leadership and will report to Domino's Chief Operating Officer Russell Weiner. Garcia replaces Executive Vice President – Chief Information Officer Kevin Vasconi, who has announced his retirement from Domino's, effective Oct. 2.

"Under Kelly's leadership, Domino's has revolutionized online ordering for the quick service restaurant industry and introduced the AnyWare® suite of digital ordering platforms," said Domino's Chief Executive Officer Ritch Allison. "Domino's is recognized worldwide for digital innovation, and we are extremely proud to have Kelly take the reins over the technology team, which numbers more than 400 talented individuals committed to making us even better."

Garcia joined Domino's in 2012 as vice president – eCommerce development. In addition to the ordering platforms making up the Company's AnyWare® suite, Garcia and team launched Domino's GPS technology and Domino's Carside Delivery™ applications in recent months.

Prior to joining Domino's, Garcia was vice president of business intelligence and North American operations for R.L. Polk & Co. Garcia holds a degree in computer science and engineering from The Ohio State University.

About Domino's Pizza® Founded in 1960, Domino's Pizza is the largest pizza company in the world based on retail sales, with a significant business in both delivery and carryout pizza. It ranks among the world's top public restaurant brands with a global enterprise of more than 17,100 stores in over 90 markets. Domino's had global retail sales of over $14.3 billion in 2019, with over $7.0 billion in the U.S. and nearly $7.3 billion internationally. In the second quarter of 2020, Domino's had global retail sales of over $3.4 billion, with over $1.9 billion in the U.S. and over $1.5 billion internationally. Its system is comprised of independent franchise owners who accounted for 98% of Domino's stores as of the end of the second quarter of 2020. Emphasis on technology innovation helped Domino's achieve more than half of all global retail sales in 2019 from digital channels, primarily online ordering and mobile applications. In the U.S., Domino's generates over 65% of sales via digital channels and has developed several innovative ordering platforms, including those developed for Google Home, Facebook Messenger, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo and Twitter – as well as Domino's Hotspots®, an ordering platform featuring over 200,000 unique, non-traditional delivery locations. In June 2019, through an announced partnership with Nuro, Domino's furthered its exploration and testing of autonomous pizza delivery. In late 2019, Domino's opened the Domino's Innovation Garage adjacent to its headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan to fuel continued technology and operational innovation – while also launching its GPS technology, allowing customers to follow the progress of the delivery driver from store to doorstep. In mid-2020, Domino's launched a brand-new way to order contactless carryout nationwide via Domino's Carside Delivery™, which customers can choose when placing a prepaid online order.

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New VP of Finance and Assistant Treasurer Joins Church's Chicken®

Grady Walker to Bring 15+ years of Restaurant-Specific Experience in Cash Management, Capital Projects, Reporting, and Compliance to Brand's Global Network

Sep 21, 2020, 15:30 ET

ATLANTA, Sept. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Motivated by a desire to continue the strong growth and expansion of Church's Chicken® and its international affiliates, the brand announced the hiring of a new Vice President of Finance and Assistant Treasurer, Grady Walker. The experienced MBA and CPA brings more than 25 total years in corporate finance across multiple industries, including more than 15 devoted to treasury, finance, risk management, and investor relations for public and private companies including large national franchise brands. At Church's, Walker will be responsible for directing tax and treasury practices including banking and investor relationships, and will also provide strategic management and oversight of the company's risk management, acquisitions, and any outside professional groups providing services in these areas.

"As Church's continues to accelerate growth throughout multiple regions worldwide, our financial team will be pivotal to both our short and long-term success. With a proven leader like Grady working to optimize our working capital, financing needs and programs, and technical analysis, Church's will be able to make the most out of every opportunity for the company, and for our franchisees," said Louis (Dusty) Profumo, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the brand, and direct supervisor for Walker.

Prior to joining the Church's Chicken team, Walker most recently served as Director of Treasury and Risk Management for The Honey Baked Ham Company, LLC. In that role, he led various finance department functions and played key roles in negotiations, growth-incentive programs, and management of insurance and risk management programs. Walker also turned in similar results during nearly 12 years with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. where he worked as Director of Finance and Investor Relations. Walker has also worked in healthcare, technology, communications, real estate, and other sectors in Controller, Director, and senior-level financial roles. He holds an MBA in Finance and International Business from Georgia State University, is a Certified Public Accountant, and is a member of the Association of Financial Professionals, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

"The Church's global brand is in the midst of a period of significant growth, with plenty of potential to outpace the competition and set new benchmarks for themselves and the chicken QSR category. I am intent on laying a strong financial foundation to help the company and its franchisees achieve measurable positive returns on all future efforts," offered Walker.

About Church's Chicken® Founded in San Antonio, TX 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, Tender Strips®, Honey-Butter Biscuits™ made from scratch and freshly baked, and classic, home-style sides all for a great value. Church's® (along with its sister brand Texas Chicken® outside the Americas) has more than 1,500 locations in 23 countries and international territories and system-wide sales of more than $1 billion. For more information, visit Follow Church's® on Facebook at and Twitter at

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Culver's Announces the Retirement of CEO and President Joe Koss

Sep 18, 2020, 13:00 ET

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis., Sept. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Culver Franchising System LLC announced today the retirement of CEO and President Joe Koss at the end of 2020.

After 23 years with this growing organization, to what is now nearly 770 restaurants, Koss made the decision to retire and spend more time with his family.

"Joe has positively impacted so many facets of our company in his time with us, especially his leadership through this unprecedented set of circumstances we've successfully navigated recently," said co-founder Craig Culver. "That said, we certainly know how important family is and fully support his decision to focus there."

Leadership at Culver Franchising System LLC is actively recruiting for a CEO to replace Koss.

Through the combined efforts of Craig Culver, an experienced leadership team, a dedicated support team, passionate owner-operators and an engaged Franchise Advisory Council, Culver's continues to see strong same-store sales growth even amidst the pandemic. Culver's also continues to enjoy a healthy pipeline of owner-operator interest in additional franchises.

About Culver's:

For over 35 years, Culver's guests have been treated to cooked-to-order food made with farm-fresh ingredients and served with a smile. The ever-expanding franchise system now numbers almost 770 family-owned and operated restaurants in 25 states. The restaurants' nationally recognized customer service is based on small-town, Midwestern values, genuine friendliness and an unwavering commitment to quality. Signature items include the award-winning ButterBurger, made from fresh, never frozen beef, and Fresh Frozen Custard, including the famous Flavor of the Day program. For more information, visit or

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Church’s Chicken Takes Training Achievements Global with New VP – Felicia White

September 17, 2020

Career Learning Expert with the Brand to Continue Expanding and Improving Operations and Professional Development

Atlanta, GA  (  Church’s Chicken® has announced the promotion of  Felicia White, to Vice President of Global Operations Training and Development. White formerly served as Senior Director of Training and Development for the brand. Felicia began her career as a National Field Trainer. She is known as one of the company’s most driven and dynamic leaders – with a keen eye for innovation that has been helping to drive the brand’s steady upward trajectory.

“So much of what we have accomplished at Church’s in the past few years has been a direct result of Felicia’s tireless work in transforming our field training and operational excellence,” shared Brendan Berg, SVP of Global Operations Services at Church’s Chicken. “Her skill with implementing new technologies, learning methodologies, and uniform training has tightened our operations systemwide and led to improved guest KPIs. I know I speak for everyone when I say Felicia will be a tremendous asset in this high-level role.”

In her position as Vice President, White will lead the execution of operational training initiatives and restaurant-level professional development programs across the entire global field organization for Church’s Chicken. This includes responsibility for delivering engaging restaurant level curriculum, robust Above Restaurant Leader training, and additional support for Certified Training Restaurants.  She will also manage all aspects of the Excellence in Leadership Conferences and Global Conventions, including Strategic Planning, Fundraising, Vendor Management and Production.

White spent the last two years completely transforming the domestic training program into what is now known as PTE-University, a dynamic world-class e-learning solution designed to unite all Church’s and Texas Chicken restaurants around the world in a single, cohesive platform. She and her team will work closely with International brand leadership to expand this and other successful domestic initiatives to International Franchisees.

“Her passion will continue to drive her forward in this role. Felicia is a prime example of a team member who not only works hard but strives to create change and opportunity for everyone in the Church’s family,” said Karen Viera, Global Chief People Officer.

A long-time veteran of the brand, White’s contributions have reached well beyond the realm of training when it comes to building a better workplace. She was instrumental in creating the Church’s women’s Forum and the Church’s Mentorship Program, and she has made significant contribution to the People Excellence Committee and the Church’s Partners Foundation.

“I have always valued the trust and support Church’s has given me and my ideas,” said White. “I am appreciative of the chance to take my work on a global scale and I look forward to serving an even larger community of Church’s and Texas Chicken operators, franchisees, and team members as we all work to Stake Our Claim as a leader in the global chicken category.”

About Church’s Chicken®

Founded in San Antonio, TX 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, Tender Strips®, Honey-Butter Biscuits™ made from scratch and freshly baked, and classic, home-style sides all for a great value. Church’s® (along with its sister brand Texas Chicken® outside the Americas) has more than 1,500 locations in 23 countries and international territories and system-wide sales of more than $1 billion. For more information, visit Follow Church’s® on Facebook at and Twitter at

View source version at Church's Chicken

Twin Peaks Appoints Two New Executive Leaders

September 17, 2020

Ultimate sports lodge hires industry veterans for chief financial officer and controller positions

Dallas, TX  (  Twin Peaks announced today the newest additions to its senior leadership team – Chief Financial Officer Scott Gray and Controller Mike Prentiss.

“We are very excited to have Scott and Mike join the Twin Peaks team,” said Twin Peaks CEO Joe Hummel. “Both team members bring extensive, impressive backgrounds with proven track records of success in finance and in the restaurant industry to our brand.”

Gray comes to Twin Peaks with public accounting and more than 24 years of industry experience, as well as a passion and strategic focus on restaurant-level unit economics to drive franchise value. Over the course of Gray’s career, he has worked in both private and publicly-traded multi-concept restaurant organizations, including Pappas Restaurants and Luby’s, Inc. As Chief Financial Officer at Twin Peaks, Gray will act as a strategic partner to the company’s management team, franchise partners and investors.

Another seasoned executive, Prentiss brings 15 years in the industry to Twin Peaks. He began his career at Ernst & Young prior to joining Landry’s Restaurants, Inc. and then Fogo De Chao, where he worked his way up to Chief Financial Officer. At Twin Peaks, Prentiss will be responsible for directing all accounting operational functions as the Controller.

“Scott and Mike are both talented, dedicated individuals, and we believe their unique skills and attributes will better our company,” Hummel said. “We look forward to them both making significant impacts within our team and Twin Peaks as a whole.”

Twin Peaks welcomes every guest with primetime matchups, ice-cold 29-degree beer and now, new smoked menu items. The entire menu is prepared in-house, to order and in generous portions to satisfy every appetite. The hearty made-from-scratch comfort food pairs perfectly with a frosty draft beer or a classic whiskey cocktail.

About Twin Peaks

Founded in 2005 in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville, Twin Peaks now has 78, locations in 24 states. Twin Peaks is the ultimate sports lodge featuring made-from-scratch food and the coldest beer in the business served by friendly and attractive Twin Peaks Girls surrounded by scenic views and the latest in high-definition TVs. Folds of Honor – a nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members – is the national charity of Twin Peaks. For more information, visit

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