Del Frisco's Taps Fresh Marketing Chief as 'New Era' Begins
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group has a new chief marketing officer to lead its growing portfolio. The company announced July 25 that Mia Meachem, formerly the marketing leader at Highland Park Village, is joining the company to direct Del Frisco’s overall marketing, innovation, and consumer engagement strategy.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mia to the Del Frisco’s family. Her significant industry experience and knowledge paired with her strong leadership skills is a testament to our continued commitment to assemble a strong leadership team,” said Norman Abdallah, CEO of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, in a statement. “As we have begun a new era at the company through the acquisition of Barcelona and bartaco, we felt it was the optimal time to reinstate the role of CMO. Mia’s past experiences working with consumer-focused companies will be undoubtedly instrumental to elevate our marketing and innovation efforts moving forward.”
In May, the company announced it was purchasing the two emerging chains from Barteca Restaurant Group for $325 million in cash. At the time, there were 15 Barcelona concepts and three under development. Bartaco had 16 locations and four under development. Del Frisco’s said it sees market potential for 200–300 domestic locations of the concept over time. Barcelona generated $60.2 million in net sales in 2017. Bartaco recorded $67.1 million. The deal closed in early July.
Meachem brings more than 20 years of marketing experience to the role, including time spent in a variety of luxury environments, including restaurants, retail, and fashion. She held positions at Neiman Marcus Group, Burt’s Bees, and Estée Lauder Companies. She succeeds Brandon Coleman III, who was named president of the company’s Del Frisco’s Grille concept in August.
“I have long admired Del Frisco’s as both a marketer and a guest, and I am excited to join the team,” Meachem said in a statement. “I see tremendous opportunity to further elevate and increase consumer engagement of these brands, which all celebrate life in restaurants through passionate team members, superior quality and remarkable hospitality.”
Del Frisco’s saw its same-store sales decrease 3.6 percent, including a 9.3 percent drop in customer counts, partially offset by a 5.7 percent lift in average check, in the first qurarter, versus the prior-year period.
The company credited the soft results to adverse weather conditions, the rolling over of the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., and the shift of the Super Bowl from Houston to Minneapolis, where the company doesn’t have any restaurants. Excluding these factors, the company said it would have reported slightly positive numbers.
Broken down, comps fell 1.4 percent at Del Frisco’s Grille thanks to a 7.1 percent decline in customer counts and a 5.7 percent in average check. They dropped 2.8 percent at Double Eagle due to a 6.7 percent decrease in customer counts, partially offset by a 3.9 percent boost in average check. Same-store sales fell 10.3 percent at Sullivan’s, driven by a 20.7 percent decrease in customer counts, partially offset by a 10.4 percent hike in average check. The company credited this to eliminating lunch at selected units, which began during Q2 2017.
The Irving, Texas-based company operates a total of 84 restaurants across 24 states and Washington D.C.