Ali Charri is Senior Vice President of Strategy and Insights for Darden Restaurants, with responsibility for the strategic oversight of the company’s Consumer and Marketplace Insights Center of Excellence and the collection, evaluation and application of consumer and industry trade research. In this role, he identifies new opportunities to grow and improve Darden’s business and leads Darden’s efforts to evolve and drive the strategic use of insights tools and resources to capture growth opportunities. Ali also works closely with leaders across all Darden restaurant brands, providing strategic guidance during all aspects of the business planning process.
Darden owns and operates more than 1,700 Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s restaurants in North America, employing more than 185,000 people and serving nearly 400 million guests annually.
Ali joined Darden from MillerCoors Company, where he led a team of internal business consultants and worked with the executive committee to ensure the delivery of volume and financial growth targets.
Prior to that, Ali served as Vice President, Knowledge & Insights for The Coca-Cola Company, where he was responsible for providing overall leadership and vision for the market research function within Coca-Cola North America. Ali also previously served as the company’s Global Director, Portfolio Strategy and led Consumer & Business Insights, Europe Eurasia and Middle East based in London. In these roles he developed and rolled out key business and strategic research initiatives across Europe and the globe, increasing consistency, collaboration and efficiencies through best practices.
Ali holds a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and a master’s degree in Engineering from Marquette University.