LOUISVILLE, KY. — Blain Shortreed has been named chief executive officer at Long John Silver’s.
He joined the quick-service seafood restaurant chain in January 2019 as chief operating officer and was promoted to president in June 2019. Before that he spent nearly 30 years at Yum! Brands, where he held several leadership roles, including managing director of Pizza Hut’s Middle East and North African division and vice president of operations for Pizza Hut USA.
“We're excited to have Blain on board to lead our fleet of restaurants into the future,” said Rick Duffy, chairman of the board of directors at Long John Silver's. “While our core offerings still enjoy popularity with people across the country, we knew it was time for new investments and leadership … Based on the progress we've made since Blain came aboard, we're confident he is the right person to lead this charge of change.”
Mr. Shortreed was promoted alongside Stephanie Mattingly, chief marketing officer, and Christopher Caudill, vice president of marketing. Tom Burress, vice president of franchise operations, also joined the company as part of the management shakeup.
The leadership team will help chart a new course for the brand. The first phase of the plan, which focused on stabilization, began in 2019 and lasted throughout 2020. It saw the company close locations that were no longer financially or operationally viable and invest in areas with more potential for growth.
The company also doubled down on its drive-thru and contactless delivery options and expanded its emphasis on family meal promotions. A new online ordering platform will launch in 2021.
Recent menu innovations, including a grilled menu featuring shrimp and salmon meals, tacos and rice bowls, will be followed by new offerings around shrimp, sauces and sides. The company also plans to introduce new store prototypes and remodels of existing locations.
“We are excited about the future for Long John Silver's,” Mr. Shortreed said. “Our focus remains on delivering treasured moments for our customers, creating a positive experience for our crews across the country, and cultivating success for our franchisees and investors.”