Jack in the Box has named Tony Darden its senior vice president and chief operating officer effective June 7, the quick-service burger chain said Monday.
Darden most recently was president of Mooyah Burgers, Fries and Shakes, an all-franchised concept where he implemented takeout and delivery protocols even before the pandemic and accelerated the introduction of curbside pickup.
Prior to that Darden was chief operating officer at Taco Bueno and at Sun Holdings, a franchisee with more than 1,000 locations including Burger King, Popeyes, Krispy Kreme and Arby’s. Additionally. He also has held operations leadership positions at Panera Bread and Metromedia Restaurant Group.
Darden’s appointment completes the transformation of San Diego-based Jack in the Box’s C-suite, which began with the appointment last spring of Darin Harris as CEO.
“I’ve known Tony professionally through the years and I know he is the right person to lead operations at Jack in the Box by partnering with our franchisees to focus on operations excellence and restaurant profits,” Harris said in the release announcing Darden’s appointment. “He cares deeply about people, franchisee success and giving our guests a consistent brand experience.”
Harris was appointed in the aftermath of a lawsuit against the company from franchisees for, among other things, a lack of vision.
“I look forward to building strong relationships with our corporate team members and franchisees to drive Jack’s long-term growth initiatives,” Darden said. “Jack’s future success will be a function of enabling our franchisees in delivering exceptional guest experiences that enhance brand loyalty and accelerate their growth.”
In its most recent quarter, Jack in the Box reported a 20.6% increase in same-store sales growth amid rising average checks. There are 2,228 Jack in the Box restaurants.
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