Noodles & Company has named former Schlotzky’s marketing executive Mark Mears executive vice president and chief marketing officer, effective July 20, the Broomfield, Colo.-based fast-casual operator said Thursday.
Mears will report directly to Noodles & Company chairman and CEO Kevin Reddy.
In March, Dan Fogarty, Noodles & Company executive vice president of marketing, said he would step down for personal reasons. He stayed on as a consultant through the transition.
Mears had served as chief marketing officer of Schlotzsky’s since January 2014. Prior to that, he became president and chief concept officer of the Mimi’s Café casual-dining chain in 2011, after serving as chief marketing officer and senior vice president at The Cheesecake Factory Inc., beginning in 2008.
Noodles & Company, with 455 units, has been working to build brand awareness of the pasta-focused chain with the goal of better communicating its scratch-made menu and healthful ingredients, like antibiotic-free proteins, cage-free eggs, organic tofu and fresh produce.
At a recent presentation for Wall Street analysts, company officials said a new marketing campaign will debut later this summer to better emphasize the menu’s global flavors and use of quality ingredients. More restaurant chains are eliminating artificial ingredients in response to growing consumer demand for “real” food.
Last week, Noodles & Company said Keith Kinsey, president and chief operating officer, would step down in July to become CEO of Portillo’s Hot Dogs LLC.
Schlotzsky’s officials said a search is underway for Mears’ replacement.