Newk’s Eatery, the elevated fast casual chain that focuses on fresh ingredients, family recipes and hand-prepared foods, has hired 20-year marketing veteran Denise Pedini to lead the company’s marketing and IT departments as senior vice president of guest experience.
Pedini, who most recently served as executive vice president of marketing at Pizza Inn, brings experience in restaurant, franchise and retail with brands including JCPenney and Pizza Hut, where she helped create and launch WingStreet, now a $1 billion brand.
At Newk’s, Pedini will help the company execute major technology upgrades including an updated app to make off-premise and in-restaurant ordering easier than ever. She’ll also help launch a new loyalty program slated for later this year.
“Denise brings to Newk’s the background we need to make our technology transformation a success for our operations teams and our guests,” says Newk’s Eatery President Mike Clock. “She also demonstrates a passion for the brand and our food—a passion that is integral to everything we do at Newk’s—and she has already become a key member of our leadership team.”
In addition to tech innovations, Pedini will focus on elevating the brand and using effective marketing strategies and unique digital tactics to drive new awareness and gain new guests. She will also be at the forefront of rolling out seasonal new menu items throughout the year.
“I was initially drawn to Newk’s because it’s an incredible brand with a great story to tell, from its roots to its current focus on meaningful technology upgrades to enhance guest experience,” Pedini said. “Most importantly, Newk’s has an amazing team committed to quality food and outstanding guest service. I am proud to be a part of this remarkable family.”
The company has already begun rolling out its app, which offers guests three convenient ways to order Newk’s to go through delivery, pickup and curbside options, with a notification feature that tells the restaurant as soon as the guest arrives. An “order from your table” feature for dine-in will be added to the app later this year.