Just Salad, the fast-casual salad chain based in New York City, has appointed two to its C-suite. Andy Rooks is the company’s first-ever chief marketing officer, and Apolinar Chavez was promoted to the role of chief operating officer, the company said Monday.
“On behalf of the Just Salad team, I am delighted to welcome Andy [Rooks], and congratulate Apolinar [Chavez] on his appointment as he has proven to be an indispensable part of our team,” said Nick Kenner, founder and CEO of Just Salad. “As we continue to launch new, diversified offerings and strengthen our brand’s competitive edge, I am confident the expertise Andy and Apolinar bring will be incredibly valuable in driving sustained success for the business today and in the long-term.”
Rooks joins Just Salad from Theory Marketing Partners, where he served as CEO and founder. Before that, he held roles at various marketing companies. Rooks will report directly to Kenner and will “use his extensive experience to facilitate growth, sales and brand strategy for Just Salad,” the company said.
“Just Salad is an esteemed, forward-thinking company and I am honored to join the team as chief marketing officer,” Rooks, left, said. “I have the utmost respect for the brand and its mission to serve healthy food at an affordable price with a sustainable ethos, and I look forward to implementing ways to further amplify that message.”
Chavez was named COO in July, but the company officially announced the promotion on Monday.
“My time working with Just Salad has afforded me an experience like no other, and I am humbled to have this new opportunity to lead operations for this business,” said Chavez. “While the restaurant industry is facing extraordinary challenges right now, Just Salad as brand and business continue to significantly outperform. We have the best team and the strategy in place to continue safely serving our loyal guests.”
Chavez, left, helped create the role of cleaning captain, introduced in July, part of the chain’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Since then, the brand has announced the role of sustainability captain, enforcing Just Salad’s mission to combat climate change. In the same vein, during the pandemic, they also introduced carbon emission labeling systems. The pandemic that has seen an increase in disposable utensils and plastic containers for health and safety purposes.
Part of Chavez’s role will be to oversee day-to-day operations at the chain that has its headquarters in a city that still has some of the strictest coronavirus regulations, New York City. The role includes leading the brand’s safety initiatives created in response to COVID-19, including cleaning captains.
“How brands execute operationally on pickup and delivery will be a leading factor in success,” Kenner told Nation’s Restaurant News in our series, Stories from the Front Lines, recently. “‘Brand’ will become even more important than it was pre-COVID.”
Just Salad has almost 50 units domestically.
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