McDonald’s senior executive Steve Levigne will join Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar as vice president of insights and analytics, Applebee’s parent company Dine Brands Global Inc. announced Tuesday.
The move comes as Dine Brands, which also owns IHOP, is shaking up and expanding its leadership team. The Glendale-based company has hired ten new executives over the past year, including Chief Executive Steve Joyce, who replaced Julia Stewart in July.
Levigne will report to Applebee’s President John Cywinski, who joined the company in May.
"Steve is a highly-regarded veteran of the restaurant industry and understands our challenges from a culinary, service, value and brand differentiation perspective. Importantly, franchisee partnership is part of his DNA, and he'll be a terrific culture fit for the Applebee's team," Cywinski said in a statement.
In February, Dine Brands changed is name form DineEquity Inc. and announced a comprehensive plan to return growth after two years of declining revenues. The company said it will invest heavily in technology and data analysis to better understand consumers.
"I'm excited to join such an iconic brand and best-in-class team," Levigne said in a statement. "I look forward to uncovering real insights and contributing to innovative marketing strategies that continue the momentum for Applebee's."
Levigne worked at McDonald’s for 23 years, where he oversaw consumer insights business analytics, guest satisfaction and industry tracking.
The company announced the appointment on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Dine Brands stock (DIN) rose 28 cents, or less than 1 percent, to close at $65.28 on the New York Stock Exchange.