Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard has added Mark Jenkins as Vice-President of Marketing, bringing his years of brand management experience and consumer behavior expertise to the iconic franchise brand.
In his new role, Jenkins will lead the development, implementation and performance of Rita’s consumer marketing. His key objective will be to optimize omni-channel marketing efforts to build the brand, drive guest loyalty, promote Rita’s shops, and reach new and existing guests across the country. Other initiatives include leveraging the brand’s online ordering, delivery, and drive-thru offerings and drive a media strategy that addresses core markets like Philadelphia, and growth markets alike.
“Having spent time in restaurants as a general manager, franchise consultant, and marketing leader at some of the nation’s largest restaurant brands, I understand that to grow units and increase sales, you must work alongside operators to facilitate an effective and actionable brand strategy,” said Jenkins. “With a coordinated approach, we can further strengthen brand equity in familiar markets like Philadelphia and Maryland and expand the reach of this iconic brand to current and new markets. Our passion is to create amazing experiences for our guests through our unmatched Italian Ice and frozen custard.”
No stranger to the restaurant industry, Jenkins previously served as Senior Director/Head of Marketing for Roy Rogers Restaurants, overseeing and developing strategy for the brand in all aspects of marketing, including brand management, field marketing, media strategy, new product introductions, calendar development, agency management, digital & social marketing, and creative direction.
He also served as Director of Brand Marketing for CKE Restaurants, managing the annual marketing calendar, brand, menu, and product offerings for 3,000+ Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants using consumer insights, new product introductions, and brand strategy. Jenkins also spent time as Director of Product Marketing for Hardees Restaurants, where he managed existing and new product offerings for 1,800 Hardee’s restaurants. Jenkins holds a doctorate in marketing from Grand Canyon University and an MBA from Texas Tech.
“Mark joins us at a key time for our brand, as we are approaching the unofficial kick-off to the frozen treats season, a time when we will soon celebrate new and existing shops opening across the country and host our annual First Day of Spring FREE ice giveaway,” says Linda Chadwick, CEO of Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard. “With a wealth of marketing and brand experience in the restaurant space, we’re extremely excited to welcome him to the Rita’s family as he has the abilities to thrive in this role.”