Inspire Brands Adds Corporate Restaurant Manager and Two Brand COOs

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Diving brief:

  • Inspire Brands has named John Kelly, who has worked at Arby for 20 years, as the company’s restaurant manager effective immediately, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive.
  • The company has also promoted Tanishia Beacham to chief operating officer of the Sonic brand, effective October 1, and Lou Beccarelli to COO of the Arby brand. Inspire did not share when Beccarelli will step into his new role.
  • These appointments coincide with Inspire’s shift towards non-traditional operations, including digital-only stores, shadow kitchens and modular building units, as potential growth engines.

Overview of the dive:

Inspire’s promotions are all leaders with long experience with the company’s brands. Beacham was previously SVP of Franchise Restaurant Operations at Sonic and has worked with the brand for over 20 years. Beccarelli, currently Regional Vice President of Operations for Dunkin’, has worked for the donut brand for more than 30 years.

This in-depth knowledge of the brand could prove invaluable to Inspire. Other national chains that have changed direction in recent weeks have looked outside their systems, and sometimes outside the restaurant industry, to find executive talent. Portillo’s, for example, hired its newest chief development officer from Cracker Barrel, while Starbucks is bringing in a CPG executive as its new CEO.

Earlier this year, Inspire announced that it was working on a series of non-traditional units designed to speed up operations and development. Last year, the company opened its first shadow kitchen and began experimenting with food processors at Buffalo Wild Wings.

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