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McAlister’s Deli names its 1st CMO

Industry vet Natalia Franco will lead the fast-casual brand’s marketing strategies.
Photograph: Shutterstock

McAlister’s Deli has hired Natalia Franco, a restaurant marketing veteran, to the newly created role of chief marketing officer.

Franco will be responsible for leading, developing and executing marketing strategies at the fast-casual chain, while also strengthening brand positioning, menu innovation and the digital guest experience, the company announced Tuesday.

Franco has previously worked as chief brand and strategy officer at California Pizza Kitchen and served as senior vice president of marketing and culinary for IHOP. She was also executive vice president and worldwide chief marketing officer for Burger King in Miami.

Natalia Franco

Natalia Franco

“Natalia’s experience leading iconic brands to exceptional growth will be instrumental as we continue to push the envelope on menu innovation, amplify digital marketing strategies and leverage the strengths of this great brand,” said Joe Guith, president of McAlister’s Deli, in a statement. “Her leadership in this newly created role of CMO will help propel the brand forward, and we are looking forward to the positive impact she will have on the brand.”

Atlanta-based McAlister’s Deli operates more than 400 restaurants in 28 states.

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