Long John Silver’s has named Marie Zhang to the newly created position of chief food innovation officer. 

Zhang will oversee menu development, food safety and the supply chain for the company in the new position. Her career in the foodservice industry spans 20 years and includes previous stints at ConAgra Foods and Peer Foods Group Inc. Most recently, Zhang led new-product development and oversaw food safety and supply chain for Atlanta-based HoneyBaked Ham for nearly nine years.

“Marie is a terrific addition to our incredibly experienced leadership team,” Long John Silver’s chief executive Mike Kern said in a statement. “She is very focused on managing our supply chain to be cost-efficient and developing new products that drive increased profitability for our restaurants.”

Zhang joins Long John Silver’s as the Louisville, Ky.-based brand starts its next phase of revitalization following its September 2011 spinoff from Yum! Brands Inc.


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In January, the quick-service seafood chain restructured its menu for the first time in a decade, rolling out new entrees like Creamy Garlic Cod, Zesty Asian Cod and Shrimp Scampi. Long John Silver’s also upgraded its hush puppies, tartar sauce and cocktail sauce, and extended new side dishes to family meals, such as creamy cole slaw, natural-cut fries, seasoned green beans and rice, corn on the cob, and battered onion rings.

Long John Silver’s franchises more than 1,300 restaurants in the United States and Asia.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN