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.
Despite slowdown in restaurant sales and many restaurants furloughing corporate employees due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, a handful of chains have moved forward with key hires. Recently, Sweetgreen hired a chief operations officer and Wingstop brought on a chief technology officer, showing that chains are ready to move past the current economic downturn.
Check out the latest executive news from this week:
Sweetgreen: Chris Carr joined the fast casual chain as chief operations officer, according to a press release. Carr most recently served as Starbucks’ EVP and chief procurement officer, where he was responsible for shaping the global supplier base of $7.5 billion and accelerating innovation using customer insights. Prior to Starbucks, Carr worked at ExxonMobil.
Dave & Buster's: The eatertainment chain appointed John C. Hockin to its board of directors to serve on the compensation committee and finance committee, according to a press release. The company temporarily expanded its board to 10 members. Victor Crawford, who has been on the board since 2016, will not seek re-election at the company’s upcoming annual meeting of shareholders. Hockin is a managing director at KKR, a leading investment firm with holdings in both public and private companies.
Wingstop: The chain appointed Stacy Peterson Androes as chief technology officer, according to a press release. Androes joined Wingstop in September 2013 and was promoted to chief experience officer in 2017, where she was responsible for using guest feedback and insights for customer-facing technology. Using this data, she led her team to relaunch Wingstop’s website and app, to improve the ordering experience and seamlessly integrate with third-party delivery. As CTO, she will fortify digital investments domestically and expand the strategy to international markets as the brand scales and grows.
Potbelly: The sandwich chain reached an agreement with shareholders led by Vann A. Avedisian to appoint David J. Near and Todd W. Smith to the company’s board of directors, according to a press release. The board will now consist of 10 directors, nine of whom are independent. Near is the founding partner of Pisces Foods and is a third-generation restaurateur. Smith has extensive experience in the restaurant industry, leading large public companies and fast casual companies, as well as founding his own restaurant group. He has worked at Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, Sonic Drive-In and KFC, among other companies.