Chili's Hires VP Marketing Steve Kelly


Brinker International, Inc., parent company of Chili’s Grill & Bar, this week announced it was hiring Steve Kelly as vice president of marketing. The fast-casual restaurant brand also added business agency GALE as its CRM agency of record.

Kelly, who will be based in Chili’s Dallas headquarters, will oversee Chili's marketing strategy including CRM, loyalty, digital experience, third-party delivery and paid media strategy and execution. He joins Chili’s after 15 years in various positions at Yum Brands. His previous roles included senior director of marketing for Pizza Hut, director of media and digital for KFC and as interactive director for Yum Brands.

"Steve’s… diverse skillset will accelerate our marketing strategy," said George Felix, Chili's chief marketing officer in a release. "Being a relevant and distinctive brand in culture requires a 360-degree focus, and his experience across multiple verticals makes him a natural choice for this role.”



Kelly’s key areas of concentration will be CRM strategy and execution for the 1,600-unit chain, as well as revamping Chili’s loyalty program, My Chili's Rewards.

“At Chili's, each guest interaction presents a chance to build a relationship that turns into repeat visits," commented Kelly in a release.

GALE has been retained to handle the chain’s CRM as part of plans to revamp Chili’s digital presence.

The New York-based agency’s duties will include strategy, creative, email and digital activity as well as providing data and insights to drive CRM. The agency is also charged with optimizing online activity to deliver relevant messaging to the Chili's customer.

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