J.R. Galardi, son of Galardi Group founder John Galardi, has assumed the position of president of the family-owned company, which is the parent of Wienerschnitzel, Tastee-Freez and Hamburger Stand.
The company’s previous president, Dennis Tase, retired in May 2016 and the position has been vacant since then.
Most recently executive vice president, Galardi will continue to report to his mother, Cindy Galardi Culpepper, who became CEO and chairman after the 2013 death of John Galardi.
Galardi will continue his role as the primary marketing support for the company’s three franchised brands along with new responsibilities for growing same-store sales and promoting unit expansion.
“Unlike some sons and daughters who inherit the family business, J.R. insisted on learning every facet of the Wienerschnitzel business from the ground up,” Galardi Culpepper said in a press release announcing her son’s appointment. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that we’ve been planning for this since his first shift as a fry cook at the age of 13.”
Before being executive vice president, J.R. Galardi was the group’s director of administration, and created the Wienerschnitzel Visionary Department, which worked to attract younger customers with strategies such as digital marketing and event and charity partnerships. He also developed partnerships between Wienerschnitzel and Toyota, Monster Energy Supercross and Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross.
“I have a passion for introducing ‘The Wienerschnitzel Way’ to multiple audiences,” the new president of the Irvine, Calif.-based company said in a statement. “We are all about relationships with our guests — both new and returning — and without them, we wouldn’t be the restaurant we are today. My father built this company from the ground up and my goal is to continue the legacy we all love.”
Galardi has a bachelor’s degree in business and music from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo.
The Galardi Group operates or franchises 331 restaurants in 10 states and Guam, as well as 13 Hamburger Stand units in 5 states and 23 Tastee-Freez units in 12 states.
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