USA – Tabassum Zalotrawala has been appointed as  Senior vice president and the Chief development officer of fast food restaurant chain McDonald’s USA effective April 24.

Her appointment comes barely a week after her resignation as chief development officer of Chipotle Mexican Grill, one of McDonald’s competitor in US that specializes in bowls, tacos and Mission burritos.

Zalotrawala will be reporting to McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger and will be tasked with spearheading McDonald’s growth strategy monikered “Accelerating the Arches” which was introduced in 2020.

The strategy has a

renewed emphasis on digital and marketing and is built on three M-C-D pillars: marketing maximisation, core dedication, and doubling down on the four Ds (delivery, digital, drive-thru and development).

“This is why we are recruiting a strong and dynamic leader to the U.S. Senior Leadership Team: to help us establish the groundwork for sustainable long-term growth and rapidly speed the construction of additional locations,” Elinger stated.

“I’m happy to announce that Tabassum Zalotrawala has accepted a position with McDonald’s as the Senior Vice President and U.S. Chief Development Officer to head up this initiative,”

Zalotrawala is no stranger to implementing strategic growth strategies for companies. In her previous role at Chiptole, she was responsible for global real estate and contributed to the fast food chain’s expansion by 750 locations since 2019—roughly 33% net new growth in North America.

Before joining Chiptole, Zalotrawala was a development leader at Panda Restaurant Group and Arby’s Restaurant Group.

“Tabassum is a values-based leader and is committed to growing the business while providing opportunities for the betterment of people, customers and communities,” Erlinger said in his letter. 

Zalotrawala appointment comes at a time when McDonald’s is optimistic of growth in Q4 financial results which are widely regarded as the fruit of eight years of system-wide renovations.

Upbeat about the future, the U.S. division of McDonald’s is planning to increase its restaurant count by 25% by 2022, to 400.

This year, instead of focusing on growth for growth’s sake, the corporation noted that it will prioritise the locations of its units.

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