- Sweetgreen has hired Chad Brauze as head of culinary and Michael Kotick as head of marketing, the company said Monday in a press release.
- Brauze will be responsible for the chain’s menu development and innovation, reporting to Nicolas Jammet, co-founder and chief concept officer. Kotick will be responsible for overseeing the chain’s marketing and menu strategy, reporting to Nathaniel Ru, co-founder and chief brand officer.
- Both new hires’ experience will help further Sweetgreen’s strategies related to its introduction of heartier menu options and expansion of its new loyalty program.
Brauze brings over 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry to his new role, according to his LinkedIn profile. He most recently worked at Burger King as senior director of culinary innovation and sustainability, where he oversaw the core menu and limited-time-only food.
Prior to that position, he worked at Chipotle as director of culinary and menu development. In that role, he tested and launched queso blanco, carne asada and brisket.
Sweetgreen’s focus on seasonal menu items should keep Brauze busy in his new position. During the summer, the restaurant rolled out a peach and goat cheese salad, barbecue chicken salad and a chicken teriyaki bowl, CEO Jonathan Neman said during the company’s July earnings call.
The barbecue chicken salad follows the rollout of the company’s chicken and chipotle pepper bowl, both of which are part of the company’s strategy to broaden its menu with heartier options.
“We are committed to evolving our menu with fresh, healthy, delicious, and craveable food,” Neman said. “Our menu strategy strives to attract new customers, engage our loyal guests, and drive additional day parts and occasions.”
Kotick’s experience will help the company broaden its loyalty offering, which launched in April. The two-tiered program, which offers a free and paid tier, has been growing steadily and driving incrementality, Neman said on the earnings call. The next stage of the program, which has been available for digital customers, will extend to dine-in guests, the company’s biggest and fastest-growing cohort.
Kotick has over a decade of experience in marketing innovation and communications working with fast casual and CPG food brands. His previous role was as senior director, brand marketing at Chipotle.
At Chipotle, he was responsible “for driving Chipotle’s purpose-driven marketing through national campaigns, brand and sustainability actions, menu and product innovation, digital marketing, loyalty program growth, and in-restaurant experience,” according to the press release. He also led Chipotle’s marketing strategy for Canada and Western Europe. Prior to working at Chipotle, he served in various marketing roles at Nestle for eight years, including marketing director, general manager and global head of digital and social media for PetCare.