LOUISVILLE, KY. — Blain Shortreed has been named chief operating officer of Long John Silver’s, effective Jan. 1, 2019. In this role, he will lead franchise operations for Long John Silver’s and oversee internal company operations and restaurant development.

Before joining Long John Silver’s, Mr. Shortreed spent nearly 14 years with Yum! Brands, Inc., most recently as managing director of Pizza Hut’s Middle East/North Africa business. Prior to that, he was vice-president of operations for Pizza Hut USA. Earlier in his career, Mr. Shortreed held operations positions with Cara Operations, Priszm and PepsiCo Foodservice International.

“Long John Silver’s is continuing the process of innovation and sharing our story with loyal customers,” said James O’Reilly, chief executive officer of Long John Silver’s. “Blain is a veteran in the quick-service restaurant industry and we know he’ll be an asset to our brand as we continue to evolve.”

Mr. Shortreed’s appointment will play a “critical role” in Long John Silver’s new brand trajectory, the company said. In March 2018, Long John Silver’s opened a new flagship restaurant in Louisville, Ky., featuring a modern design and a new Grilled Seafood Menu, which includes grilled fish tacos and grilled salmon bowls paired with long grain rice. Long John Silver’s is currently planning a significant expansion of grilled menu items in 2019.