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Whataburger names Bird technology chief

CORPUS CHRISTI Texas Whataburger Inc. said it has appointed as chief information officer Karen Bird, a foodservice technology veteran who most recently served as vice president of restaurant information solutions at Brinker International Inc.

Bird succeeds CIO Scott Parr, who is becoming a principal in the Business Technology Partners LLP consultancy in Dallas, Whataburger said.

“Karen has a strong background in aligning technology systems and making smart business decisions across multiple brands and concepts. She’ll be a valuable resource and driving factor in applying new systems in our restaurants to help us deliver the friendly service and made-to-order food we’re known for,” said Preston Atkinson, president and chief operating officer of Whataburger, which operates or franchises more than 700 namesake restaurants.

During her two years at Brinker, Bird had responsibility for aligning technology strategy, business processes and priorities across 1,600 restaurants in 24 countries, Whataburger said. Prior to joining Brinker, she worked as director of retail technology services for Dunkin’ Brands Inc., franchisor of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins chains. Before that, she was vice president of business systems at Advantica Restaurant Group, which at the time was parent to seven restaurant chains, including the Denny's family-dining concept.

Bird started in foodservice as a restaurant-level employee for Burger King and worked her way up to a post as systems manager before joining Advantica.

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