Long John Silver’s promotes Blain Shortreed to CEO, bolsters leadership, digital

Seafood QSR makes progress on CX, digital initiatives

Long John Silver’s Board of Directors tapped Blain Shortreed to be the seafood chain’s new CEO. Upon his arrival at the company in January 2019, Shortreed led operations and was responsible for franchising, as well. After a promotion in June of that year, he became president, and started overseeing marketing, human resources and development functions.

Along with Shortreed’s promotion, the company has also been going through a reworking of the organizational structure. Moves aimed at creating a renewal for the company brought change to management and new faces to the leadership team. Stephanie Mattingly was promoted to chief marketing officer, while Tom Burress joined the company as vice president of Franchise Operations.

Furthermore, Christopher Caudill ascended to the position of vice president, Marketing. To improve customer engagement and their experience, Long John Silver’s also beefed up digital innovation and asset development through additional resources.

Rick Duffy, chairman, Board of Directors at Long John Silver’s, said, “Since our launch in 1969, Long John Silver’s mission has been to make the unique seafood experience from the coasts accessible to everyone. While our core offerings still enjoy popularity with people across the country, we knew it was time for new investments and leadership to ensure we’re serving treasured moments to every guest, while becoming ‘America’s Favorite Seafood Restaurant.”


Before joining Long John Silver’s, Shortreed worked at Yum Brands in leadership roles over a 28-year career there, including as managing director of Pizza Hut’s Middle East/North Africa Division, in addition to vice president of operations for Pizza Hut USA. At Pizza Hut, he oversaw operations for more than 6,000 restaurants, and was charged with the brand’s World Class Operations initiative.

“We’re moving the brand from surviving to thriving,” said Shortreed. “We’re restructuring the business for growth; reinvesting in assets; strengthening training, development, marketing and technology; and focusing on giving our core consumer—and new customers—a better experience only Long John Silver’s can provide.”

The Louisville, Ky.-based seafood QSR chain has worked on improving drive-thru efficiencies, improving service times. Menu innovation has been elevated at the company, and is part of a repositioning strategy. Over the past two years, the launch of a grilled menu line featuring Grilled Shrimp and Salmon Meals were well received,


Tacos and Rice Bowls also arrived. In addition, a new online platform provides an easy way for customers to order for on- or off-premises.

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