Chains Lock in C-Suite Appointments

Wendy’s, Dine Brands Global and Bonchon share respective announcements.

Scott Gladstone
Scott Gladstone is taking on a newly created role at Dine Brands Global.

New restaurant leaders are stepping up, with a flurry of announcements landing today, Jan. 18.

Here’s a look at a few of the latest:

  • Scott Gladstone (pictured above) has been promoted to serve in the newly created role of chief development officer at Dine Brands Global, where he has worked since 2016. He will oversee franchise development globally, deepening Dine’s development capabilities and enhancing support for new and existing franchisees for each of Dine’s brands: Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar, IHOP and Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. He also will continue to serve as the company’s international president, a role he has held since January 2023, overseeing Dine’s Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants across 18 international markets.
  • At Wendy’s, Kirk Tanner is set to take the reins as president and CEO on Feb. 5. Tanner succeeds Todd Penegor, who departs in February after serving in senior leadership positions at the brand for over a decade. Tanner most recently served as the CEO of North American beverages at PepsiCo and, prior to that, oversaw PepsiCo’s global foodservice division. He now joins Wendy’s with more than 30 years of experience across beverages, snacks and foodservice. “Kirk is a proven operational leader whose customer-centric mindset and broad experience positioning and growing some of the most well-known global brands make him the ideal candidate to lead Wendy’s into its next phase of growth and expansion,” says Nelson Peltz, chairman of the Wendy’s board.

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    Suzie Tsai

  • Lastly, Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon announced Suzie Tsai as its U.S. CEO. Tsai, who joined the company in 2023 as its chief growth officer, has over 25 years of marketing and branding leadership experience. She previously worked for brands including On The Border Mexican Grill and Cantina, Chili’s Grill & Bar, and KidZania. Tsai says Bonchon “continues to evolve and strengthen critical elements in [its] offerings, from menu and technology, to store formats.” Bonchon says it achieved its strongest new store sales in company history in 2023. In 2024, it is eyeing new markets including southern Florida, Little Rock, Ark., Tucson, Ariz., and Ann Arbor, Mich. The 430-unit brand expects to make its airport debut in 2025, and aims to have 500 U.S. locations and 1,000 locations worldwide in the next five years.

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