Brandon L. Solano is the new chief executive officer of the Dallas, Texas-headquartered RAVE Restaurant Group, which owns, operates, franchises and/or licenses 261 Pie Five Pizza Co. and Pizza Inn restaurants and Pizza Inn Express kiosks in the United States and internationally. He succeeded Scott Crane, whose tenure with the company ended in July.
Solano most recently served as chief marketing and digital officer of fast-casual Pei Wei Asian Kitchen, where he recorded the best positive traffic the operator had seen in seven years behind the launch of Wei Better Orange Chicken, cauliflower rice and a clean-label initiative dubbed “The Wei Forward.” In the process, he creatively poked fun at Panda Express, garnering substantial positive publicity and social media chatter at the expense of the brand’s much-larger rival.
RAVE’s chief executive officer began his restaurant career with Domino’s Pizza in 2008, where he led the 2010 “New & Inspired” pizza launch as vice president of innovation. He later served as vice president of development for Domino’s, where he led operations and designed the “Pizza Theatre” concept and created the “Fortress Seattle” model market strategy. Prior to his Pei Wei tenure, he drove positive traffic for the first time in 10 years as chief marketing officer of Wendy’s.
“I’m stoked to lead both Pizza Inn and Pie Five for RAVE,” said Solano. “These brands have tremendous upside and I intend to partner with our employees and franchisees to realize every ounce of it. We will be disruptive in the space and make consumers rethink their pizza choices while supporting our communities, franchisees and employees. In short, I’m here to win!”