The parent to the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins chains has appointed two new vice presidents to its information technology leadership team to support franchisees at a time of rapid growth, the company said Monday.

Separately, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. announced franchisee plans to develop 17 new units in Texas, as part of an ongoing push to the West Coast.

David Starmer, formerly of the technology team at Papa Murphy’s International, has been named vice president-IT, store systems of Dunkin’ Brands. Paul Zaher, formerly in the technology division of clothing retailer Express Inc., has been named vice president-IT, marketing systems.

Both will report to Jack Clare, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Dunkin’ Brands, and both are newly created positions.

In his role, Starmer will focus on back-office improvements for both brands, including labor and inventory, as well as the integration of in-store technologies to further streamline tasks for the brands’ franchisees and restaurant managers.

Prior to his service at Papa Murphy’s, Starmer held IT roles at Back Bay Restaurant Group, and he was director of information technology at Biscuitville Restaurants Inc. In previous roles, Starmer was the founding chief technology officer of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Inc. in Charlottesville, Va., where he was an IT architect for the Jefferson Library.

Zaher will focus on the IT needs of the marketing team at Dunkin’ Brands, with emphasis on mobile and loyalty initiatives, as well as enhancing the company’s business intelligence and analytical reporting tools for franchisees.

In his role at Express, Zaher directed e-commerce and other marketing systems, and he was also responsible for Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence applications for the parent company Limited Brands.

“We are very excited to welcome Paul Zaher and David Starmer to Dunkin’ Brands. With their extensive technology expertise in retail environments, they will play key roles as we continue to expand our capabilities in pursuit of best-in-class technology services for our franchisees and consumers,” said Clare. “As we continue to expand the presence of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins around the world, making strategic technology investments and enhancing our team with proven leaders like Paul and David is a key part of our plan to accelerate the growth of our business and support our franchisees.”

Dunkin’ Donuts, for example, has been on a steady march to California, where company officials envision adding at least 1,000 units in that state alone.

The company has signed an agreement with franchise group Niknud LLC to develop eight traditional Dunkin’ Donuts and three co-branded Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins units throughout western Texas in Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock and San Angelo by 2019.

In addition, franchise operator Alamo Donuts LLC plans to open five Dunkin’ Donuts and one co-branded Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins location in San Antonio, Texas, also by 2019.

As of the end of 2012, Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands franchised more than 10,500 Dunkin’ Donuts and more than 7,000 Baskin-Robbins locations in nearly 60 countries worldwide.

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com.
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