Moe’s Southwest Grill has appointed Tory Bartlett chief brand officer.
Bartlett has worked for Moe’s parent Focus Brands for three years, most recently serving as chief brand officer for Schlotzsky’s.
At Schlotzsky’s, Bartlett debuted two new prototypes and streamlined the menu to simplify operations and maximize efficiency, the company said. The chain saw a record number of new deal signings in 2021, adding 124 units to its pipeline.
“Tory’s impressive leadership with Schlotzsky’s has helped propel the brand forward,” Focus Brands’ Restaurant Category President Joe Guith said in a statement. “Moe’s Southwest Grill has incredible potential to continue to grow and evolve, and with Tony’s operations-centric mindset and proven track record for successful brand management, we are excited about what’s next for the brand.”
Fast casual Moe’s, which has about 700 locations, has been in the midst of a “reinvigoration” that has included store remodels, menu changes and tech enhancements, the chain said last summer.
Moe’s is also working on a small-footprint prototype that includes a drive-thru.
The first Moe’s opened in 2000 in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood—a restaurant that’s still open today. The chain has consistently lagged behind many of its fast-casual Mexican competitors.
Moe’s sales fell more than 23%, to $560.6 million, from 2019 to 2020, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company, Technomic. Moe’s lost 5.7% of its total units during that period as well, according to Technomic.
In addition to Focus Brands, Bartlett has held leadership posts at Tin Lizzy’s and Hooters.
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