Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill announced the appointment of Wade Allen as the Executive Vice President of Strategic Growth. Allen brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the digital guest experience and off-premise dining space, acquired during his tenure as Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Brinker International, Inc. 

In his previous role at Brinker International, Allen was responsible for driving the company’s off-premise business and enhancing the digital guest experience for leading brands such as Chili’s Grill & Bar, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and It’s Just Wings. His strategic leadership contributed to the growth and success of these iconic casual dining restaurants. 

At Costa Vida, Allen will leverage his extensive knowledge to spearhead the company’s strategic growth initiatives. His primary focus will be on expanding Costa Vida’s off-premise presence, optimizing digital channels, improving the technology infrastructure, and enhancing the overall marketing strategy. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Wade Allen to the Costa Vida family as our new EVP of Strategic Growth,” says Dave Rutter, CEO of Costa Vida. “His deep understanding of digital innovation, coupled with his proven track record of driving business growth, will play a pivotal role in shaping our future success. We are confident that his expertise will accelerate our strategic initiatives and reinforce  Costa Vida’s position as a leader in the fast-casual dining industry.” 

During his time at Brinker, Allen held multiple leadership positions, demonstrating his versatility and ability to drive innovation across technology, analytics, and digital marketing. He spearheaded the successful implementation of various initiatives, including  tabletop devices, loyalty programs, mobile applications, website enhancements, and launched one of the nation’s largest and most  successful virtual brands. Allen’s strategic thinking and emphasis on data-driven decision-making have consistently yielded positive  results for the brands under his purview. 

“I am thrilled to join the Costa Vida team and contribute to the company’s continued growth and success,” says Allen. “Costa Vida’s commitment to providing high-quality, fresh Mexican cuisine combined with its dedication to enhancing the guest experience aligns perfectly with my passion. I look forward to working with the extremely talented team at Costa Vida to drive strategic growth and exceed our customers’ expectations.” 

Wade Allen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Brigham Young University and a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University. He is also an active member of his church and serves on the digital innovation advisory council for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

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