Church's Chicken has added a new member to its already stellar leadership team. Announced March 4, Brian Gies, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer, will take the reins of the global chicken brand's marketing efforts as it moves to expand its presence and grow worldwide market share. Gies comes to Church's with nearly 20 years of top-level restaurant marketing experience improving the value of each of the brands he has led. Gies will also be responsible for implementing the Church's recently launched new global brand positioning and its new domestic marketing approach focused on Bringin' That Down Home Flavor.
"Brian is joining the team at a very exciting time. He has proven successful in building winning teams, delivering results and working with franchisees to grow their business," says Joe Christina, Chief Executive Officer for Church's. "His first-hand knowledge and excellent track record fits right in with the culture we are building and will play an intricate part of achieving our vision to be the global franchisor of choice. The executive team and I are excited and fortunate to welcome Brian to the Church's Chicken family."
Gies' tenure includes leading the marketing efforts at iconic brands like TGI Fridays and Burger King. At Fridays, Gies modernized the brand's marketing to appeal to rapidly shifting consumer needs. In addition to a digital transformation that launched an e-commerce platform fueling the growth in the takeout business, Gies contemporized the product approach with a comprehensively overhauled handcrafted menu, optimized the largest loyalty program in the category, and implemented one of the most successful core promotional platforms in the brand's history with "Endless Appetizers."
While at Burger King, Gies led the U.S. Marketing Activation team that helped reinvigorate the business, establishing the King as a brand icon, and driving a resurgence in the brand's flagship product with a sustained superiority campaign around the Whopper with initiatives that became industry game changers, such as "Whopper Freak-out", "Whopper Virgins" and "Whopper Sacrifice." As Gies and team continued to innovate in marketing, Burger King was chosen as 'Marketer of the Decade' by AdWeek, while the company enjoyed an unparalleled five-year run of consecutive positive same store sales as a public company.
Gies began his business career at KPMG as a Senior Associate, leading financial assurance engagements in a variety of industries including hospitality and retailing. Church's will be the third major restaurant brand with which Gies has been involved. "Joe and the entire Church's team have made significant progress with the business, setting it up for massive forward potential," offers Gies. "Church's core customers are in love with our food…hand-battered chicken cooked in small batches and scratch-made Honey Butter Biscuits. We have a longstanding, tried-and-tested platform that deserves to be elevated and optimized further, with an outcome that broadens our audience so even more chicken lovers can enjoy the Church's experience. I'm excited to get busy helping to make that happen."