Burger King announced Monday that Chief Operating Officer Tom Curtis has been promoted to president of U.S. and Canada markets.
Curtis replaces Chris Finazzo, who left the company for unknown reasons in July. Curtis joined Burger King in mid-May after working 35 years at Domino's. He started as a store manager and then became a franchisee. He eventually served as executive vice president of corporate operations and executive vice president of U.S. operations and support.
“Tom joined us a few months ago and has quickly established a strong leadership position in the business and trust with our franchisees, informed by his 35 years of previous restaurant experience as both a franchisee and senior operations executive,” said Restaurant Brands International CEO José Cil in a statement. “Tom will lead the acceleration of our business to deliver on our vision that Burger King should always be our guests’ first choice for a quality meal, an exceptional and convenient experience and great value. We have the right priorities identified and this is a matter of having a strong leader and team with the right focus and pace to deliver the high expectations that we have of ourselves.”
The leadership change comes as Burger King undergoes a major transformation strategy. In early August, Cil described the chain's five-point plan: driving innovation in the core menu and accelerating daypart and category extensions, working with franchisees to maintain operational consistency, committing to a fully integrated digital ordering experience, reimaging the portfolio, and translating the brand's global advertising creativity into stronger loyalty and long-term traffic.
Burger King's COVID recovery has been much slower than its quick-service competitors. In Q2, the brand's U.S. same-store sales increased 3.1 percent on a two-year basis, compared to 14.9 percent at McDonald's and 11.7 percent at Wendy's.
Curtis said he's impressed by the quality of Burger King's team and the partnership it has with franchisees. He added that together, the two sides will work to accelerate the chain's performance through "an intense focus on our guest experience and success on five key priorities."
"We intend to play to our distinctive heritage and strengths, evolve our menu to deliver exceptional taste and value in key day parts, streamline our operations to provide our guests with a consistent, quality experience, accelerate our digital integration—led by the nation-wide launch of our Royal Perks loyalty program, and drive the transformation of our restaurant network with high quality locations, exciting design and high ROI for our franchisees," he said in a statement.