Tipping the scale at 800 employees, and following the opening of  the brand’s 23rd Florida location, 4R Restaurant Group names four new members to their leadership team – Jim Bruce as Chief Financial Officer (CFO); Joel Chick as Restaurant Division President; Jim Lewis as Signature Products Division President; and Monique Waldrop as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). The hires will usher in the brand’s 2023 expansion goals, adding to a portfolio that currently includes fourteen 4 Rivers Smokehouse locations, 4R Cantina Barbacoa at Disney Springs; four 4 Rivers walkup venues at ESPN Wide World of Sports; The COOP, as well as branded outlets at Camping World, Exploria, Spectrum, and Doak Campbell Stadiums. 

“As a family-owned brand our core values are guided by faith, passion, and professionalism,” says John Rivers, Founder and CEO.  “Each one of these executives brings tremendous experience to our leadership team. Their involvement has resulted in innovations that have greatly improved our performance and our ability to serve our guests with the highest possible standards. Their high standards for innovation and operational excellence align with our vision for continued growth of the brand, and our purpose of serving the community as a barbecue ministry.” 

Each new team member offers a tremendous depth of experience in their field of study, offering an innovative lens on the future of business for 4R Restaurant Group.  The team’s credentials include:


  • Jim Bruce, Chief Financial Officer | Bruce brings over twenty years of financial and leadership experience to the brand. He has held positions as president, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer in various industries and size companies. Mr. Bruce managed and worked with high-net-worth family offices whose investments have included airline, automotive, marine, restaurant, manufacturing, environmental, and real estate development. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan. 


  • Joel Chick, Restaurant Division, President |  Chick joins 4R Restaurant Group to lead 4 Rivers Smokehouse as President and will be responsible for overseeing process improvement, new business development, and talent management.  Prior to this, Chick was the  Chief Operating Officer/Executive Vice President at Red Lobster. He earned his BBA in Business Administration and Management from Eastern Kentucky University. 


  • Jim Lewis, Signature Products Division, President Lewis leads the 4Rivers brand across all retail channels, and concession sales in major arenas across the country. Prior to joining the 4R Restaurant Group, the Indiana State, and Purdue University MBA graduate, held C-level career positions with Disney, Pepsi, and Walmart. 


  • Monique Waldrop, Chief Marketing Officer | Restaurant industry veteran, Waldrop joins 4R Restaurant Group with more than two decades of experience in marketing and communications leadership roles, including four years as CMO of Tijuana Flats Tex-Mex restaurants. Prior to joining 4 Rivers, she served as a Fractional CMO for several popular restaurant brands, non-profits, and real estate companies. She is an Auburn University alumnus and recently earned a dual certification as a digital expert from the American Marketing Association and Digital Marketing Institute.
Employee Management, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Operations, 4 Rivers Smokehouse