- Denny’s appointed Alex Williams as its SVP and chief operating officer, the company announced Monday.
- Williams has decades of experience working at restaurants like Starbucks, McDonald’s, Outback Steakhouse, Fleming’s Steakhouse and Moe’s Southwest Grill.
- This hire comes a few months after Denny’s brought on a CMO and a year after it appointed Kelli Valade as its CEO.
Williams joins the chain in the midst of several new operation strategies. The company aims to ease management turnover, which improved during Q1 on a 12-month rolling basis, Valade said during the company’s Q1 earnings call. Denny’s is expanding educational programs, such as offering coaches to help employees attain GEDs, and is offering mental health benefits to boost retention of these employees.
The company is launching a new rewards program next month and is boosting efficiency by improving inventory management, updating kitchen prep and simplifying portioning to help with consistency, Valade said. Back-of-house staff have been batch cooking breakfast items like sausage and bacon instead of cooking one order at a time, which has helped save at least an hour of cook time during peak times.
Denny’s also plans to roll out a new cloud-based point-of-sales system during the third quarter, which Valade said allows for the use of an improved kitchen verification system, tablets for servers and QR codes for payments.
In his new position, Williams will “oversee the day-to-day operational functions of the Denny’s business and develop and execute a strategic vision for the operations of the Denny’s brand,” the company said. Williams will report to Denny’s president John Dillon.
"Alex's role will be pivotal in taking Denny's to the next level — ensuring that our world-class food and operational excellence continue to be the hallmark of the Denny's experience,” Dillon said in the press release.