- Church’s Texas Chicken, formerly known as Church’s Chicken in the U.S., and Texas Chicken have named Joe Guith as CEO, effective Aug. 1, the company announced Tuesday. Guith replaces Joe Christina, who served as president and CEO of the company for six years.
- Guith previously served as restaurant category president at Focus Brands where he oversaw a portfolio of over 1,500 restaurants across Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli and Schlotsky’s. He also worked as brand presidents at McAlister’s and Cinnabon and has previous experience at KFC and The Coca-Cola Company.
- Guith joins Church’s Texas Chicken with experience growing brands and increasing digital capabilities.
The CEO change was announced about a year after Church’s was bought by High Bluff Capital Partners. Since then, the company has been focused on expansion, especially internationally. Church’s, which has over 1,500 restaurants globally, planned to open 100 new restaurants in 2022, throughout the Americas, Middle East and Southeast Asia with major growth markets this year including Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.
“With a strong base of domestic and international franchisees and a number of strategic growth initiatives on the horizon, this is an exciting and defining time in this great brand’s history,” Guith said in the press release. “I look forward to expanding the brand’s footprint so that Church’s Texas Chicken continues to thrive and reach new customers across the globe, particularly in new major markets abroad.”
Guith’s role will also include leading investments in technology related to consumer behaviors, such as a new mobile app and loyalty program, which High Bluff founder Anand Gowda previously told Restaurant Dive could help Church’s better understand its diners. Launching a loyalty program will fit well with Guith’s past experience at Focus Brands, where he oversaw a new digital and loyalty program at McAlister’s Deli just before the pandemic hit.