Carin Stutz was named president of McAlister’s Deli in November 2014. Prior to joining the award-winning fast casual brand, Carin served as president and CEO of Cosi; president, Global business development at Brinker International, the parent company of Chili’s Bar & Grill and Maggiano’s; executive vice president of operations for Applebee’s; and division vice president of Wendy’s International.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
First, I’d recognize my parent’s contribution. Dad was gentle and kind and mom was incredibly driven with an amazing work ethic. She expected us to excel and dad insisted we be generous. I think I got the best from both of them. Like many executives in the restaurant industry, I worked my way up through the ranks. My first foodservice job was at the front counter of McDonald’s. You learn a lot about people working the front counter, and you also learn that you can make a difference. Even with a brief encounter, you can lift people up. I worked through every position in both company and franchise operations, up to the position I hold today. I will always have tremendous respect for all employees who work the day to day operations in the restaurants. My hands-on experience allows me to fully understand the decisions I make and the impact they will have on our people and our guests. The knowledge I gained and lessons I learned have made me a better leader.