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Vote for the 2021 Restaurant Leader of the Year

Choose which CEO you think did the best job to pull their brand forward during a difficult 2020.


Why virtual concepts could be a big part of Applebee's and IHOP's future

John Peyton, the new CEO of parent company Dine Brands, sees ample room for additions in the brands' "renaissance."

Garrett Mills played in the NFL for six years. But his next play will be to take the casual dining barbecue chain national.

Instead of following the pack, the CEO of Outback Steakhouse’s parent company made a contrarian decision the first week of the pandemic. Now his charge is enjoying the benefits.

Steve Piano was named the burger chain’s chief people officer while Carlson Choi is the new chief information officer.

The Restaurant Leader of the Year finalist helped spur a remarkable turnaround at the pizza chain, with some assistance from the pandemic.

The chief executive of the parent company of Popeyes, Burger King and Tim Hortons is a Restaurant Leader of the Year finalist, thanks to international growth and chicken sandwiches.

The Restaurant Leader of the Year nominee took on the morning daypart, long a company frustration, and succeeded despite the pandemic.

The five CEOs vying for the honor this year are Jose Cil of Restaurant Brands International, David Deno of Bloomin’ Brands, Rob Lynch of Papa John’s, Charlie Morrison of Wingstop, and Todd Penegor of Wendy’s.

The casual-dining chain was already pursuing initiatives that would help during the crisis, but communications needed to deepen.

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