Chili's Grill & Bar promotes Ellie Doty to marketing head

The previous CMO, Steve Provost, was named the restaurant chain's chief concept officer.

DALLAS: Chili’s Grill & Bar has promoted Ellie Doty to SVP and head of marketing.

Doty is reporting to Wyman Roberts, CEO and president of Chili’s and parent Brinker International. Doty was promoted on December 3 and oversees 30 staffers.

Doty’s previous role as VP of marketing is being folded into her new one. She is leading marketing, national advertising and communications, menu and merchandising, food innovation, bar and beverage, consumer insights, social, PR, web and app, email marketing, loyalty, and CRM

The last person to lead marketing at Chili’s was Steve Provost, who was EVP and CMO before being named EVP and chief concept officer for the restaurant chain.

"[Provost] has a lot of strengths when it comes to future-looking strategy and innovation, so he is taking on a scope of culinary, supply chain, and engineering [duties]," said Doty.

The CMO previously had responsibility for culinary innovation, along with marketing duties. Because the scope of the work is different, the title has changed, explained Doty.

"I have been here for 18 months and am delighted to take on additional scope," said Doty. "Some of the most talented people work here and in this function we have a big success story to tell over the past year, so I hope to carry it forward in the future."

Before joining Chili’s, Doty worked in marketing roles at KFC between 2013 and 2017, including as marketing director and CMO for KFC Canada. Earlier in her career, she was senior brand manager for Taco Bell and brand and field marketing manager for Long John Silver’s, according to her LinkedIn account.

In July, Chili’s Grill & Bar named Ketchum agency Access Brand Communications as its PR AOR after working with the firm on a project basis since 2015. Three months earlier, Chili’s named Chicago-based O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul as its creative and strategic AOR. Fact & Fiction is the chain’s social AOR.

Last September, Chili’s cut its menu by 40% to focus on its core items of burgers, ribs, fajitas, and margaritas. Brinker International reported revenue increased 1.9% to $753.8 million in Q1 of fiscal 2019, which ended on September 26, missing analysts’ estimates. However, the company’s earnings increased by 1.9%, beating analysts’ expectations.

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