Pei Wei Names Former QSR Marketing Exec as CMO

Brandon Solano |  Pei Wei

Brandon Solano | Pei Wei

The fast casual chain Pei Wei announced last week that Brandon Solano will be joining its executive management team as Chief Marketing Officer.

Solano is an award-winning marketing executive who also has had roles at Hershey's, Kellogg's and Proctor & Gamble. He also has had extensive restaurant industry experience, including leadership roles most recently at Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Wendy's, and Domino’s Pizza.

So why the move to the fast casual sector? Solano has a passion for the brand’s “handcrafted care” and its premium food product.

"I joined Pei Wei because I believe in the vision and leadership of the executive team who is fiercely committed to winning and puts people first," said Solano in a recent press release. "As a foodie, I love the brand and appreciate the unique space that Pei Wei occupies in the fast casual industry, particularly when it comes to Pei Wei's dedication to quality food and handcrafted care."

Pei Wei’s leading executives hired Solano to bring some new creative energy to the brand. The former Pei Wei CMO, Clay Dover made a recent move to the emerging concept Velvet Taco as the brand’s new president.

"I know firsthand Brandon's creativity, passion and ability to drive results through marketing strategies and brand development," said John Hedrick, Pei Wei’s CEO in a press release. "Brandon will be a key asset to the Pei Wei leadership team as we continue to build and deliver on our brand promise."

Solano signed on as the asian fast casual recently introduced poke to its menu. The brand already has sushi, but it looks as though it is now jumping on the poke (raw fish salad) trend. The Spicy Polynesian Poke Bowl was introduced in early May and will be available for a “limited time.” If it does well enough with Pei Wei guest, this could be the start of a whole new menu section.