Bloomin’ Brands Inc. named Mike Kappitt the new president of its Carrabba’s Italian Grill brand on Tuesday.
Kappitt had previously been the Tampa-based Bloomin’ Brands’ senior vice president and chief marketing officer. He replaces David Pace, who left Carrabba’s to take the CEO job at Jamba Juice.
“Mike’s proven leadership and brand-building talents are perfect for the Carrabba’s brand,” Liz Smith, CEO of Bloomin’ Brands, said in a statement.
“Consumers continue to recognize Carrabba’s as their favorite Italian restaurant and with the introduction of a new menu, this is an exciting time for Carrabba’s.”
Kappit comes to the chain as it works to lift weak sales. Same-store sales in the company’s third quarter fell 2 percent at the 247-unit chain.
Kappit joined Bloomin’ Brands in 2011 as chief marketing officer at Outback Steakhouse. During his tenure, the brand introduced its wood-fire grill, lighter menu items and doubled the number of remodeled restaurants. He was promoted to chief marketing officer for Bloomin’ Brands, which operates Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse as well as Carrabba’s, in 2013.
He joined Bloomin’ Brands from Burger King, where he was the chain’s chief marketing officer for North America, and he previously held positions at Alamo and National Car Rental.