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08/25/2022

Denny's New President

John Dillon was promoted to President of Denny's Inc. and David Schmidt is President of Keke's Breakfast Café.
Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
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Denny's

Denny's Corporation announced the appointment of John Dillon as President of Denny's Inc. and David Schmidt as President of Keke's Breakfast Café. Dillon and Schmidt will report to Chief Executive Officer Kelli Valade.

Dillon brings over two decades of restaurant expertise to his appointment as president of Denny's Inc. In his most recent role as Chief Brand Officer of Denny's, Dillon has helped to deliver greater shareholder value through the amplification of Denny's America's Diner brand positioning; fostering a collaborative culture with franchisees; launching Denny's on Demand, the first delivery platform in family dining; launching two successful virtual brands; creating successful LTO offers and brand partnerships; growing Denny's purpose-led social responsibility impact; and simplifying the core Denny's menu with a focus on improved product quality and operational execution.

Schmidt is a 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry who brings to Keke's a proven track record of operations, marketing, finance, training and HR leadership. In addition to most recently serving as Chief Financial Officer of Red Lobsterand Bloomin' Brands, his experience includes serving as President of Bonefish Grill, during which he was responsible for developing and implementing the long-term growth strategy of a 200-unit polished casual concept. While leading Bonefish Grill, Schmidt built a talented and diverse leadership team that drove sales and traffic growth through differentiated brand positioning, improved product quality and execution, margin expansion, and increased employee retention. 

Dillon's appointment as president of Denny's will be effective on September 1, 2022, and Schmidt's appointment as president of Keke's Breakfast Café will be effective on September 12. Denny's Inc. will immediately launch an active search for a new Chief Marketing Officer.

As of June 29, 2022, Denny's had 1,631 franchised, licensed, and company restaurants around the world.