Cheddar’s Cynthia Payne Named 2022 Change Maker

March 23, 2022

This week, leaders across the food industry came together during the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas. As part of the highly anticipated event, WFF announced their 2022 Change Makers — a group of outstanding leaders recognized as rising stars within their organizations. Winners are selected for modeling inclusive leadership that supports gender equity within their company’s culture.

One of these rising stars is Cynthia Payne, our newly promoted Senior Vice President of Operations at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.

“Cynthia has been such a valued leader at Cheddar’s for years, said John Wilkerson, President of Cheddar’s. “This award is a testament to Cynthia’s track record of success in her restaurants and her ability to lead teams with conviction. As she continues in her new role, I know she will inspire team members and future leaders in the company.”

Cynthia was promoted to the role of Senior Vice President of Operations in January, overseeing the operation of more than 50 restaurants. She progressed to this position after becoming Managing Partner in Baytown, Texas — then Director of Operations for the Houston and Rio Grande Valley Region.

Over her career, Cynthia was recognized for her hard work with prestigious Cheddar’s awards like the Founder’s Award and the President’s Award, both of which celebrate her excellence in leadership and delivering results. She began her career with Cheddar’s as a restaurant manager in 2007.

“I feel so honored to be named a Change Maker by WFF. I hope this can show others who aim to grow professionally and personally at Darden that anything is possible,” says Cynthia.