- Inspire Brands named John Kelly, who has worked at Arby’s for 20 years, as chief company restaurant officer effective immediately, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive.
- The company also promoted Tanishia Beacham to Sonic brand chief operating officer, effective Oct. 1, and Lou Beccarelli to Arby’s brand COO. Inspire did not share when Beccarelli will enter his new role.
- These appointments coincide with Inspire’s turn toward nontraditional operations, including digital-only stores, ghost kitchens and modular construction units, as potential growth drivers.
Inspire’s promotions are all leaders with long-time experience with the company’s brands. Beacham previously served as SVP of franchise restaurant operations at Sonic and has worked with the brand for more than 20 years. Beccarelli, currently a regional VP of operations for Dunkin’, has worked at the doughnut brand for more than 30 years.
That depth of brand knowledge could prove valuable to Inspire. Other national chains that have made C-suite switch-ups in recent weeks have looked outside their systems, and sometimes outside the restaurant industry entirely, to find executive talent. Portillo’s, for example, hired its most recent chief development officer from Cracker Barrel, while Starbucks is bringing on a CPG executive as its new CEO.
Earlier this year Inspire announced it was working on a series of nontraditional units designed to speed up operations and development. Last year, the company opened its first ghost kitchen and began experimenting with kitchen robots at Buffalo Wild Wings.