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Business Observer Thursday, Jun. 9, 2022 2 months ago

Restaurant holding company expands C-suite to accommodate growth

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St. Petersburg-based WOWorks promotes from within to fill chief brand officer and vice president of marketing roles.

WOWorks, a St. Petersburg-based restaurant holding whose brands include Saladworks, Frutta Bowls, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina, Zoup! Eatery and The Simple Greek, has appointed a pair of chief brand officers as its portfolio of restaurant concepts grows.

Lauriena Borstein

According to a news release, Lauriena Borstein will serve as chief brand officer for Saladworks, Frutta Bowls and Zoup! Eatery. She previously served as WOWorks’ senior vice president and general brand manager of Saladworks and Frutta Bowls. 

“I am excited to be leading these better-for-you restaurant brands that have demonstrated tremendous growth potential for providing the kind of nutritious, fast-casual food guests are seeking — from soups to salads to fruit-based menu items,” Borstein states in the release. “They also lend themselves to a fantastic opportunity for co-branding. I look forward to providing the support system to all franchisees to help them transition to WOWorks, as well as the opportunity of offering two menus at one restaurant.”

John Geyerman

John Geyerman, meanwhile, has been named chief brand officer for Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, The Simple Greek and Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina. He previously served as WOWorks’ senior vice president of operations and general brand manager for Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh and The Simple Greek.

“I am honored to lead three amazing, plant-forward restaurant brands that provide exciting global flavors to our guests,” Geyerman states in the release. “As our healthy-halo concepts experience explosive growth across all traditional and non-traditional foodservice venues, from grocery stores and airports to university campuses, it is vitally important all our marketing and operations initiatives are in-sync with all other restaurant brands.” 

The company also expanded its C-suite with the creation of two vice president of marketing roles. They’ve been filled by Lori Kern and Mark Kreiner, both of whom, like Borstein and Geyerman, held other roles with WOWorks.

As a result of its recent acquisitions of Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina and Zoup! Eatery, WOWorks, the release states, expects to end the year with more than 400 restaurants and create at least 10,000 job opportunities in the restaurant industry.

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