Natalia P. Franco strengthens leadership team in newly created role
McAlister’s Deli, a leading fast-casual restaurant chain home to handcrafted sandwiches, always-fresh salads, giant stuffed spuds and McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea, is excited to announce that Natalia P. Franco will join the brand leadership team as chief marketing officer.
In her new role as CMO, Franco will be responsible for leading, developing and executing marketing strategies and programs, while inspiring concepts and solutions to enable continued brand growth and profitability. Franco will also accelerate the evolution of the brand to increase its relevance from a positioning, menu innovation and digital guest experience standpoint.
“Natalia’s experience leading iconic brands to exceptional growth will be instrumental as we continue to push the envelope on menu innovation, amplify digital marketing strategies and leverage the strengths of this great brand,” said Joe Guith, president of McAlister’s Deli. “Her leadership in this newly created role of CMO will help propel the brand forward, and we are looking forward to the positive impact she will have on the brand.”
Prior to launching her own brand marketing consulting group, BrandMark Global LLC, she was chief brand and strategy officer at California Pizza Kitchen. At CPK, she was responsible for leading strategy, brand repositioning, advertising, brand messaging, consumer insights and culinary development for the restaurant system as well as public relations. Previously, Natalia was the senior vice president of marketing and culinary for IHOP®. She was also the executive vice president and worldwide chief marketing officer for Burger King in Miami. She has held various global leadership roles with The Coca-Cola Company, Pillsbury Company, General Mills and Unilever.
Franco holds a degree in business administration in Bogota, Colombia and earned a graduate degree in retailing from Universidad de Valencia in Spain. She also pursued a graduate degree from Harvard with a C.S.S. degree in business management, with a focus on marketing.
“McAlister’s is a relevant brand, friendly and casual, with fresh offerings that appeal to a broad set of consumers,” Franco said. “I look forward to partnering with its dynamic leadership team and experienced franchisees to further develop McAlister’s growth in the marketplace. In joining McAlister’s Deli, I will also enjoy being part of the FOCUS Brands family, a wonderful organization with strong brands across the U.S. and around the world.”
Founded in 1989, McAlister’s Deli is a fast casual restaurant chain known for its genuine hospitality, sandwiches, spuds, soups, salads, desserts and McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea. In addition to dine-in and take-out service, McAlister’s also offers catering with a selection of sandwich trays, box lunches, desserts, a hot spud bar and more. With numerous industry accolades, the McAlister’s brand has more than 400 restaurants in 28 states. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, visit www.mcalistersdeli.com, and find McAlister’s on social media at www.Facebook.com/McAlistersDeli, www.Twitter.com/McAlistersDeli and www.Instagram.com/McAlistersDeli.