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Ovation Brands announced the appointment of seasoned marketing executive Robert Crews as senior vice president of marketing. In this role, Crews will oversee a team of in-house professionals, plus outside agencies responsible for all marketing, advertising, and brand management for the entire Ovation Brands portfolio with a particular focus on reinvention efforts underway in the Ryan’s, Old Country Buffet, and Hometown Buffet concepts. He will report to Anthony Wedo, chief executive officer.
“Rob has a proven track record of reinvigorating legacy brands,” Wedo says. “Since 2013, Ovation Brands has been in a reinvention phase with updates to our food, service, and decor in several key markets. We are now poised to roll system-wide, and Rob is just the leader I want on my team to help us reinvent the system and the overall family-buffet category.”
Crews’ responsibilities will include overseeing advertising, merchandising, media buying, consumer insights, research, decor and concept work, new product development, as well as promotions, public relations, and field and local store marketing.
Crews brings to Ovation Brands more than 20 years of consumer marketing experience. He recently served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Church’s Chicken, where he engineered a turnaround of the brand and helped drive positive domestic system-wide sales results. He also served as vice president of international marketing for The Wendy’s Group, in all countries outside of the U.S. and Canada. He founded C Results Marketing, where he worked with brands such as Arby’s and California Pizza Kitchen. Throughout his restaurant and hospitality career, Crews has held a number of marketing executive positions with brands such as Sonny’s Franchise Company, Grill Concepts Inc., RARE Hospitality Inc., and Applebee’s.
“I am thrilled to join the team Tony Wedo has built at Ovation Brands,” Crews says. “They are leading the reinvention of the buffet industry with game-changing initiatives. I look forward to building strong brands and growing the business.”