Farmer Boys announced that David Wetzel, the current senior vice president of operations and a quick-service industry veteran, has been promoted to president and chief operating officer. The promotion comes alongside the announcement that Farmer Boys’ current president and COO, Karen Eadon, has retired after six years with the company and nearly 40 in the restaurant industry.
In his new role as president and COO, Wetzel will be responsible for driving overall brand strategy, corporate and franchised development, and restaurant performance. Wetzel joined the Farmer Boys team in January 2020 as senior vice president of operations, where he oversaw systemwide restaurant operations and field execution and helped to define the strategic direction for the Farmer Boys brand. Before joining Farmer Boys, Wetzel held executive roles at Del Taco Restaurants, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, El Pollo Loco and Taco Bell.
“I am truly humbled and excited to be leading this legacy brand. In the last three months, I have had the great privilege to watch true leadership from Karen while we have navigated through this unprecedented challenging time for both the world and the restaurant industry,” says Wetzel. “I have big shoes to fill in this new position, but I will work fervently alongside our talented team, franchisees and suppliers to continue Farmer Boys’ calculated growth plan while building the next chapter of hospitality for Farmer Boys guests and team members.”
Eadon joined Farmer Boys in 2014 as chief marketing officer and was promoted to president and COO in 2015. Under her leadership, Farmer Boys opened 12 new restaurants, oversaw a systemwide restaurant remodeling program, improved internal systems and processes to enable the brand to scale more efficiently, implemented a back-of-house inventory and data management system, upgraded its management team and overall talent pool, and strengthened its presence and dominance as a fast casual competitor.
Eadon adds, “I have been truly blessed to have fulfilled so many dreams over the past 40 years, and I leave Farmer Boys with countless and fond memories. I have every bit of confidence in Dave’s ability to continue leading the brand in the right direction and to allow Farmer Boys to reach new guests in both new and existing markets. He has years of proven operational experience that will take Farmer Boys to new heights.”