This is the latest installment in a series that highlights major executive changes at top fast casual, QSR and casual dining chains over the past week.
Three restaurant companies hired executives focused on technology this week, highlighting how major brands need to enhance their capabilities, as reliance on digital ordering and contactless technology accelerates during the pandemic. Del Taco hired an executive with loyalty experience, suggesting the Mexican QSR's future plans could include a rewards app, while CKE Restaurants and Domino's brought on new talent to fill their chief technology roles.
Check out more leadership news below:
Del Taco: Erin Levzow has been appointed to the new position of vice president of marketing technology, according to a press release. Levzow has over 15 years of experience in marketing, marketing technology, mobile apps and ordering technology in addition to experience in building loyalty and rewards programs. In her new role, Levzow will lead the marketing technology team and develop strategic, integrated programs to drive customer loyalty and increase frequency. Levzow previously worked at MGM Resorts International, Palms Casino Resort, Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Freebirds World Burrito and Wingstop Restaurants.
CKE Restaurants: The parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's hired Lance Tucker as chief financial officer and Phil Crawford as chief technology officer, according to a press release. Both executives have extensive experience in food service, franchising, growth and innovation. Tucker, who has nearly 30 years of experience, previously served as executive vice president and CFO for Jack in the Box and, prior to this position, spent nine years at Papa John's.
Crawford, who has over 20 years of experience in various CTO roles, joins the company from Godiva Chocolatier, where he was global chief technology officer. Prior to that, he worked at Shake Shack. As CKE's CTO, he will work on the company's information technology function and create a technology roadmap to transform the company into a data-driven, tech-forward company.
Taco John's: Greg Miller joins the QSR restaurant as chief operating officer, bringing 30 years of industry experience to the chain, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive. He spent nearly 27 years at McDonald's in various operations and marketing roles across seven different regions in the U.S. He spent two years at Whataburger, where he served as regional director of operations, and most recently was the division vice president of operations at Jack in the Box. At Taco John's, Miller will set aggressive goals to improve restaurant operations performance, sales growth and guest traffic.
Domino's: Kelly Garcia, senior vice president and chief technology officer, has been promoted to executive vice president and chief technology officer, effective Oct. 2, according to a press release. Garcia will replace Kevin Vasconi, executive vice president and chief information officer, who will be retiring. Under Garcia's leadership, Domino's introduced AnyWare suite of digital ordering platforms, CEO Ritch Allison said. Garcia has been with Domino's since 2012, and in recent months Garcia and her team launched Domino's GPS technology and Carside Delivery applications.
Church's Chicken: Grady Walker has become vice president of finance and assistant treasurer at the chicken chain, according to a press release. He has over 25 years of experience in corporate finance across multiple industries, including 15 years in treasury, finance, risk management and investor relations for public and private companies. At Church's he will be responsible for directing tax and treasury practices including banking and investor relationships and will offer strategic management and oversight to the company's risk management, acquisitions and any outside professional groups providing services in this area. Prior to Church's, he served as director of treasury and risk management at The Honey Baked Ham Company and also worked at Popeyes for nearly 12 years.