Irvine-based restaurant chain Wienerschnitzel has promoted J.R. Galardi to the chief executive position.
Galardi held the position of company president since 2017 and has been with the family-run business for years. Before the 33-year-old joined the executive team, Galardi had multiple jobs within the company starting as a janitor and working his way from behind the fast-food counter up to operations and business development.
According to the company, same-store sales increased 42% and digital sales have grown 400% under Galardi’s time as president.
The hot dog chain, owned by the Galardi Group Inc., currently counts more than 330 restaurants. The brand ranked No. 9 on the Business Journal’s most recent list of OC-based Restaurant Chains with an estimated $254.9 million in systemwide sales for 2020.
Cindy Galardi Culpepper, former CEO, will maintain her role as executive chairman.
The new CEO has plans to open Wienerschnitzel locations outside the U.S. before the year is over. He will also focus on nontraditional ways of serving customers such as virtual kitchens and expand efforts to provide more resources and aid to for-cause organizations, the company said.