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TGI Fridays taps Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos co-creator as chief marketing officer

TGI Fridays
Source: TGI Fridays
TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays is shaking things up.

The restaurant said Tuesday that it has hired a new chief marketing officer, Taco Bell's Stephanie Perdue, and tapped restaurateur Jerry Comstock as its president and chief operating officer.

Perdue, the former chief product marketing officer for the innovative Mexican-style restaurant chain, was responsible for leading the team that designed Doritos Locos Tacos, its most successful product ever, and introducing the restaurant's breakfast menu.

"TGI Fridays has a long history of creating firsts in the industry and I look forward to continuing that tradition by breaking the status quo," Perdue said in a statement. "I am thrilled to help write the next chapter for Fridays as we reimagine the brand for both team members and guests."

Perdue joined Taco Bell in 2004 as a brand manager and rose to vice president of brand marketing and, shortly after, chief product marketing officer.

Comstock is the former CEO of Strategic Restaurants Corp., a company that was once among the largest Burger King operators in the U.S.

"Jerry is a long-time veteran of the restaurant business, but even more importantly, he knows the Fridays business," TGI Fridays CEO John Antioco said in a statement. "He spent years fine-tuning best practices for executing a superior guest experience at his restaurants. In addition, he has excellent long-term relationships with Fridays' franchisees, who now own and operate over 90 percent of our 470 U.S. locations.

"Casual dining, including Fridays, needs to be more imaginative and differentiated, especially around product innovation, marketing, and customer engagement," Antioco said.

Both positions have been vacant for more than six months.