OPES Acquisition Corp.-owned Burger Fi — the 120+-unit, Palm Beach, Fla.-based fast-casual burger chain — has announced the appointment of former Burger King executive Julio Ramirez as their CEO.
Prior to joining BurgerFi, Ramirez held multiple positions at the Restaurants Brand International company, including president of the Latin America/Mexico/Caribbean division, senior executive of franchise operations and development in North America, and executive vice president/chief operations officer.
“BurgerFi has continued to lead the space with powerful leadership and Julio’s expertise will allow us to continue to grow within the ‘better burger’ segment,” Ophir Sternberg, chairman and CEO of OPES Acquisition Corp said in a statement. “There is a strong market and a captive audience for fast-casual experiences. Development strategies and tactics will be key, and BurgerFi has a scalable model to grow exponentially into more locations through top institutional developers, unique growth vehicles like ghost kitchens and working with successful multi-brand operators.”
After leaving Burger King in 2011, Ramirez, left, founded JEM Global, Inc., a company that assists quick-service and fast-casual brands with franchising and domestic and international growth. He set up franchise groups in Mexico and Colombia, and was co-owner of the South Florida-based concept, Giardino Gourmet Salads.
“Today’s consumers demand an outstanding guest experience on each visit and BurgerFi not only delivers strong on its service but also owns the outstanding quality and ‘better burger’ segment,” Julio Ramirez said in a statement. “BurgerFi has several unique brand differentiators with its premium natural ingredients, technology enhanced infrastructure and commitment to sustainability that has the potential to capture significant market share, both nationally and internationally, through a highly scalable model. I look forward to leading the team through its next chapter of expansion and the continued evolution of the brand.”
Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi