Denny’s Corporation, owner and operator of Denny’s Inc. (“Denny’s”) and Keke’s Inc. (“Keke’s”), announced the hiring of Pankaj Patra as Chief Digital and Technology Officer (CDTO). This is a newly created enterprise role that will include support for Denny’s and Keke’s. Patra will be responsible for accelerating the company’s capabilities across all specialties within the Digital, Technology and Information functions.
“Our restaurant teams and our guests rely on technology to enable a seamless experience, which makes the work that our IT team does absolutely critical,” says Kelli Valade, CEO, Denny’s. “We are excited to add Pankaj to the team to help us build on the solid foundation already in place, while leading us in identifying new, relevant and innovative solutions to serve our guests, employees and franchisees in the future.”
Patra comes to Denny’s from Brinker International, Inc., where he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, responsible for overseeing information technology and data security for the company and its restaurants brands. Patra brings 25 years of experience as an innovative enterprise technology architect, digital strategist and information technology leader.
“Denny’s is an iconic restaurant company that understands and values the connection between great people and smart technology. I am looking forward to working collaboratively across the company to identify opportunities for improvement and implement exciting, innovative, transformative solutions,” says Patra.
Patra earned his undergraduate degree from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela and went on to attain his MBA from Southern Methodist University. He is a member of the Dallas chapter of the International Food and Beverage Technology Association.
Patra is based in Dallas and will assume the position effective October 30, 2023. Michael Furlow, Denny’s Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, will remain on staff through the end of the year to support the transition.