Family-dining barbecue chain Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q has named a new chief operating officer and vice president of marketing.

Brandon Manly, the new chief operating officer, most recently worked for Tulsa, Okla.-based Rib Crib BBQ and Grill as director of franchising. He replaces former top operator Jeff Yarmuth, who served as vice president of operations.

Manly was hired to stage a major branding and cultural shift at Sonny’s, the company said in a statement. The company declined to discuss specific changes, noting that other announcements will be release in the coming weeks.

Sonny’s also hired Dominic Losacco, who replaces Scott Feldman as vice president of marketing. Losacco had worked for McDonald’s and Sonic before starting his new job at Sonny’s.

Losacco will lead the company’s new unit design rollout expected for later this year.

“Sonny’s is an iconic, well-loved brand whose reputation is known nationally,” he said in a statement. “We want to enhance that brand by strengthening our roots in the barbecue culture and spreading that culture to a wider culture.”

It was unclear why Yarmuth and Feldman departed the company, said spokesman Robert Perez. Losacco officially started in his role in February, and Manly started as chief operating officer late last year.

The reason for the delayed announcement, Perez said, was that the company was waiting to hire a vice president of marketing before publicizing the new chief operating officer.

Winter Park, Fla.-based Sonny’s has 126 locations systemwide.

Contact Erin Dostal at erin.dostal@penton.com.
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