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Brandt, "a seasoned veteran" who joined April 2, is "quickly assessing the changes needed across marketing so we can get back to emphasizing the craveability of our food and expanding brand loyalty among consumers," said Niccol. "I'm confident Chris will quickly find ways to increase our brand relevance and ensure our advertising spend is working harder for us."

Marketing and promotional costs were only 1.8 percent of sales in the quarter, a decline from the year-ago period. The company expects marketing and promotional costs of about 3 percent of sales for the year, with spending around 3.5 percent to 4 percent of sales in the current second quarter.

"I believe the brand has been invisible and I think as the brand becomes visible and we lead culture, that's going to be a huge opportunity going forward," Niccol said during a question and answer session. "This brand needs to be leading culture, not reacting to it. And the people that are loyal to this brand, that's what they want to be a part of."

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