Tropical Smoothie Cafe adds former Arby’s exec as CMO

Deborah von Kutzleben also spent more than two decades at global advertising firm BBDO Worldwide.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe
Photo: Shutterstock

Tropical Smoothie Cafe has hired a former Arby’s executive as its new chief marketing officer, the fast casual announced Wednesday.

Deborah von Kutzleben most recently served as vice president of brand strategy, advertising and menu at Arby’s. Before that, she spent 22 years at BBDO Worldwide, as an executive vice president and senior director at the global advertising firm.

At Tropical Smoothie Cafe, von Kutzleben will manage marketing strategy, menu innovation and brand growth, the chain said.

Deborah von Kutzleben

Deborah von Kutzleben / Photo courtesy of Tropical Smoothie Cafe

“Deborah has a strong track record of creating and executing strategies to take brands to the next level, and we believe she can help us elevate Tropical Smoothie Café to become a household name,” CEO Charles Watson said in a statement. “With her purpose-driven approach, she is the right leader to drive guest awareness and connection with the brand as we remain focused on our aggressive growth initiatives.”

The smoothie chain, which has more than 1,000 locations, intends to open a total of 130 new stores this year, with plans to add nearly 500 locations by the end of 2024. Tropical Smoothie Cafe reports nine years of same-store sales increases.

“Tropical Smoothie Cafe offers an incredible opportunity with a growing brand that is pioneering a new paradigm in healthier eating and community involvement,” von Kutzleben said in a statement. “I look forward to making a positive impact and inspiring better for our franchisees, their crew members, guests and the support team.”

In September, the brand promoted its operations SVP Richard Key to chief operating officer.

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