Checkers & Rally’s, an iconic drive-thru restaurant chain known for flavorful, craveable food at a great value, today announced the appointment of Michael Blair as Chief Financial Officer and Scott Johnson as Chief Marketing Officer. In their respective roles, Blair and Johnson will help fuel growth in the business, focusing on driving profitability, guest engagement and continued expansion of the brand. Mr. Blair and Mr. Johnson will report to Checkers & Rally’s President and CEO, Frances Allen.
“I am pleased to welcome Michael and Scott to the Checkers & Rally’s leadership team and am thrilled to gain their expertise and insight as we embark on an exciting chapter ahead for our brand,” said Frances Allen, President and CEO of Checkers & Rally’s. “Michael brings deep financial expertise in the restaurant industry, which will be invaluable as we continue to execute our plans for our next phase of growth. Additionally, Scott’s proven expertise in the QSR space will be instrumental in taking the brand to the next level – focusing on engagement and innovation to best serve our guests. On behalf of the entire company, we welcome them to the Checkers & Rally’s family, and look forward to all we will accomplish together in the months and years ahead.”
Michael Blair brings significant CFO experience within the restaurant industry both nationally and internationally, with deep cross-functional knowledge leading finance and accounting, payroll, risk management, human resources, legal, and IT departments during his career. Most recently, he served as the Chief Financial & Administrative Officer at Miller’s Ale House. Prior to Miller’s Ale House, Mr. Blair spent nine years with Bloomin’ Brands in a variety of Finance roles including Director of FP&A at Outback Steakhouse before transitioning to Bloomin’ Brands International. In his final two years with Bloomin’ Brands, Blair served as their International CFO, overseeing both company and franchise financial performance throughout the world, including in the brand’s markets in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Brazil.
“Checkers & Rally’s is an iconic brand with a rich history, and I am proud to be joining the management team,” said Mr. Blair. “I look forward to working with our team to continue to grow strategically in new and existing markets as we capitalize on the growth opportunities ahead.”
Scott Johnson brings a wealth of restaurant industry experience, having led marketing teams for Smashburger, BurgerFi, BRAVO!, Bonefish Grill and Outback Steakhouse, among others. He has a proven track record of delivering significant AUV growth through his innovative work in social media and digital commerce, menu development, consumer engagement and other marketing, advertising and PR initiatives. Most recently, Mr. Johnson served as Vice President, Head of Marketing at Jollibee Group of Companies, where he led marketing for Smashburger and JFC North America. Prior to Jollibee Group, Scott served as Vice President, Head of Global Marketing for BurgerFi International, where he transformed the marketing function and helped the chain grow from 65 to 115 units. Mr. Johnson began his career as a brand manager for Arby’s, before eventually becoming Senior Director of Marketing, where he oversaw the national marketing calendar, new product marketing, and brand development for 3,000 locations in 50 states.
“It is an honor to join such a well-loved national brand,” said Mr. Johnson. “I am looking forward to diving in with the team to further innovate our marketing strategy, while ensuring we stay true to the brand’s heritage of craveable food at an exceptional value. We have so much opportunity as a brand, and I am thrilled for all we have in the works and what’s to come to drive guest engagement and satisfaction.”
About Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc.
Based in Tampa, Fla., Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., an iconic and innovative drive-thru restaurant chain known for its bold, craveable food, famous fries, exceptional value, and people-first attitude, operates and franchises both Checkers® and Rally’s® restaurants. With 800 restaurants and room to grow, Checkers & Rally’s is a proven brand with flexible building formats that is aggressively expanding across the country. Checkers & Rally’s is dedicated to being a place where franchisees and employees who work hard can create opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities. In recent years, the brand has earned several of the industry’s most prestigious awards including: “#1 Most Craveable Fries” by Restaurant Business 2020 and 2018; Best Franchise Deal and “Best Drive-Thru in America” by QSR Magazine; Top Food and Beverage Franchise by Franchise Business Review; the “Hot! Again” award from Nation’s Restaurant News and has consistently been ranked on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500.