DALLAS – Kelli Valade has been named president of Chili’s Grill & Bar, a business unit of Brinker International. She assumes the title from Wyman Roberts, who will remain with Brinker as CEO and president.
In her new role, Valade will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of domestic restaurant operations, marketing and franchising for the brand.
“Six years ago, we tapped Kelli to lead the change to become a more accountable organization,” Roberts said. “Through our evolution to a culture of accountability, Kelli and our restaurant leadership teams have achieved unprecedented improvements in restaurant margins and guest satisfaction scores. They did it by lowering costs while balancing an improved and consistent guest experience that enabled us to deliver a compelling value proposition. We are confident Kelli’s experience, leadership and exceptional restaurant operations team will continue to deliver on our key initiatives to drive a truly differentiated experience for our guests and shareholders.”
Valade has more than 20 years of experience at Brinker International, most recently as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Chili’s. She also has held multiple leadership roles in PeopleWorks and operations for Brinker.
Prior to joining Brinker International, Valade held a human resources position at Carlson Restaurants Worldwide.
Doug Comings has been named senior vice-president and COO for Chili’s. In his new role he will oversee operations for all Chili’s domestic restaurants. Previously, Comings served in a dual capacity as vice president of domestic franchise and regional vice-president for Chili’s. In this position, he oversaw operations for more than 570 company-owned and franchised restaurants, including new restaurant development and franchisee relationships and agreements. He began his career with Brinker International in 1994 as a Chili’s server and over the past 22 years has grown into various operations leadership roles.