December 13, 2016 // Franchising.com // IRVINE, California – Wienerschnitzel, the world’s largest hot dog franchise, is proud to announce the promotion of J.R. Galardi, the 27-year-old son of late company founder John Galardi, to the role of Executive Vice President. Galardi most recently held the role of Director of Administration, but began his career with the family business at the age of 13, when he manned the fry station and drive-thru during his summer breaks. As Executive Vice President, Galardi will support a wide scope of brand initiatives for Galardi Group (GGI), parent company of Wienerschnitzel, Hamburger Stand and Tastee Freez, including marketing, operations, development and community relations.
Since joining GGI’s corporate team in 2013, Galardi has made it his mission to propel the 55-year-old brand into the modern era, all while maintaining his father’s vision for the company. “I feel blessed to have grown up with Wienerschnitzel, and am proud to carry on my father’s legacy,” said Galardi. “My goal is to fortify Wienerschnitzel’s future by building on our success and capturing the attention of the next generation of hot dog lovers. My father believed that food should be fun and wasn’t afraid to do things differently; it’s this mentality that has enabled the brand to thrive and will continue to drive us forward.”
Galardi works side-by-side with his mother, Cindy Galardi Culpepper, who assumed the role of CEO in 2013. Together, the two are breathing new life into the iconic brand while upping the company’s commitment to giving back in support of the brand’s new mission “serving food to serve others.”
“Not only is J.R.’s passion inspiring, but I continue to be impressed by his strategic thinking, hard work ethic and unwavering commitment to grow the brand,” said Doug Koegeboehn, Wienerschnitzel’s Chief Marketing Officer. “It was his idea to operate Wienerschnitzel like a start-up company, an approach that has changed the way we think about marketing, operations, menu innovation and more; and he has been instrumental in revitalizing company culture from the top down.”
In 2014, Galardi spearheaded the development of the Visionary Department, a forward-thinking marketing division dedicated to building brand loyalty among a younger audience. Through digital marketing, event sponsorships, philanthropic efforts and strategic partnerships, including teaming up with Toyota, Monster Energy Supercross, and professional motocross team Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross, Galardi and the Visionary Department are tapping into millennial interests and building an organic presence where their fans are. Galardi’s new role as EVP will allow him to apply his creativity and progressive style to an extended set of brand touchpoints, such as elevating the in-restaurant experience.
Galardi continued, “I am committed to using the platform I’ve been blessed with to make the world a better place, starting with our guests and supporting the causes that are most important to them. Wienerschnitzel has an incredibly loyal and hard-working team in its corner, and we are all excited for the future as we continue to spread the hot dog love with new fans around the country!”
Founded by John Galardi in 1961 with a single hot dog stand in Wilmington, California, Wienerschnitzel (www.wienerschnitzel.com) is a bona fide pioneer of the limited-service food industry. Today, Wienerschnitzel is the world’s largest hot dog franchise and home of America’s favorite Chili Dog. Based in Irvine, California, the parent company, Galardi Group, franchises restaurants throughout the U.S., including Wienerschnitzel, Hamburger Stand, and Tastee Freez. An iconic American brand with a devoted following for over 50 years, Wienerschnitzel is poised for exponential growth, both domestically and internationally. With a refreshed marketing focus, Wienerschnitzel has received tremendous media attention and accolades including Franchise Times’ “20 to Watch” and voted Best Fast Food in Southern California by the readers of Los Angeles Daily News for five years and running. In 2016, Wienerschnitzel was ranked #146 in the coveted Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise 500. Additionally, the company recently introduced a unique next generation store design featuring a smaller footprint and a lower cost of entry; while the simple menu allows for easy execution and lower food costs. As a family owned and operated company, Wienerschnitzel is in a unique position to always put its franchise partners first and is actively recruiting passionate franchise candidates to grow with the brand during this very exciting time. For more information on owning a Wienerschnitzel, visit www.wienerschnitzel.com/hot-dog-franchise/ or contact Ted Milburn - Director, Franchise Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Powerhouse Public Relations