Industry News | January 26, 2013

Former BK Exec Joins the Board at Giardino Gourmet Salads

Giardino Gourmet Salads, the fast-casual salad concept founded by Kenny and Ody Lugo in Miami in 2004, has big plans to grow into other markets in 2013, with a new board of directors and investors in place.

The new board offers 90 years of combined experience in restaurant operations, and includes Julio Ramirez, former executive vice president of global operations and former president of the Latin America region for Burger King Corporation.

2012 was a record year for the family-owned Giardino Gourmet Salads, boasting double-digit comparable sales within its chain of eight locations in South Florida.

This includes the development of a new location in Miami’s famed Brickell Business District and a brand-wide catering menu that is rolling out early this year.

“We’re very excited to have Julio and our board of directors to take our concept to the next level,” says Kenny Lugo. “Julio’s expertise in franchising and marketing will help us continue our franchising growth and profitability in 2013.”

Giardino Gourmet Salads has prided itself on its salad varieties, along with its dressings and croutons, which are made daily in each of the restaurants. As a result, the concepthas solid sales-to-investment ratio with a diverse group of licensees.

“In moving our way through Florida and adjacent states in the Southeast region, our goal is to seek franchise owners that are committed to growing with the brand,” Ramirez says. “I invested in this concept because I know it stands out amongst its competitors in this market.”