Focus Brands Exec Joins Church’s Texas Chicken as CEO

Joe Guith Churchs Chicken 1200x800 1
Joe Guith will support the brand’s next phase of growth as it expands into new international markets. Courtesy of Church's Texas Chicken.

After serving as restaurant category president of Focus Brands, overseeing over 1,500 restaurants across the Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli and Schlotzsky’s brands, Joe Guith is taking the helm at Church’s Texas Chicken and Texas Chicken as CEO.

Guith says he was attracted to the fried chicken chain’s “resiliency” and “ability to navigate a challenging environment” since the pandemic. Now, the restaurant industry veteran hopes to help expand the brand’s footprint, particularly in new international markets, he says. Guith’s priorities also include leading investments in technology to mirror evolving consumer behaviors, such as an enhanced digital customer experience, including a new mobile app and loyalty program.

In addition to working as restaurant category president at Focus Brands, Guith also held brand president positions at McAlister’s Deli and Cinnabon. Before Focus Brands, he served as general manager of the KFC south territory and also served in several roles for The Coca-Cola Co. in a global capacity.

“As a strategic leader with extensive category expertise, Joe’s proven track record supports our efforts to build upon the brand’s strong foundation to drive future success,” says Anand Gowda, founder of High Bluff Capital Partners, which owns Church’s Texas Chicken, in a press release. “His expertise in operating restaurants, combined with his passion for growing brands, accelerating digital capabilities and developing high-performing teams, will be incredibly valuable to the Church’s Texas Chicken system.”

Guith replaces Joe Christina, who served as CEO and president for six years. Texas Chicken and Church’s Texas Chicken have more than 1,500 locations in 26 countries.

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