Bloomin’ Brands Inc. has promoted David Pace to president of Carrabba’s Italian Grill, according to an SEC filing.

Pace was previously executive vice president and chief resource officer. He replaces Steven Shlemon, who stepped down as president of the casual-dining chain in February to become president and chief executive of Benihana Inc.

Before working with Carrabba’s, Pace was responsible for Bloomin’ Brands’ concepts Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Roy’s. He also oversaw real estate development and human resources.

Prior to joining Bloomin’ Brands, Pace held executive positions with Starbucks Coffee Co., HomeGrocer.com, and PepsiCo/Yum! Brands Inc., and has experience in technology and sports management, according to a biography on the company website.

Known for its casual Italian wood-fired grill menu, Carrabba’s has 241 locations, nearly all company owned. It is a sister brand to Outback Steakhouse and is owned by Tampa, Fla.-based Bloomin’ Brands.

Other concepts within the Bloomin’ Brands portfolio include Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine.

Pace moves into the lead position for the brand after a rough winter. For the company’s March 30-ended first quarter, Carrabba’s’ same-store sales fell 1.8 percent.

Carrabba’s, however, has been renovating restaurants and is rolling out the additional daypart of weekday lunch.

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout