Pepper Lunch, the Japanese-born experiential fast-casual concept unlike any other, with more than 500 locations in 15 countries, has announced it has tapped industry veteran Mark Bailey as its Chief Operating Officer. Previously, Mark had been supporting Pepper Lunch in a consultant capacity, but with the company’s aggressive growth trajectory, and multiple recent major market franchisee signings, Mark is now fully overseeing the domestic operations arm of the beloved brand.

With a restaurant operations background that spans across four decades, Mark has been at the operations helm of iconic brands like Mr. Gatti’s Pizza (350+ locations) and regional favorites including Chronic Tacos and Pokeworks. Along with overseeing Pepper Lunch operations, Mark will focus on the development and management of the company’s first corporate-owned restaurant in North America, and streamlining Pepper Lunch’s supply chain infrastructure as the brand continues its aggressive growth plan.

In addition to Pepper Lunch’s new COO, the company also appointed Jonathan Whiteside as its Director of Creative and Technology, to continue to build the most modernized brand and franchisee marketing and technology infrastructure in the industry.

Previously working in a contractual role with the company, Jonathan has been pivotal in constructing the systems which have enriched the user experience. Previously a consultant for agencies and upstarts looking to fast-track growth, Jonathan will lead initiatives across website development, automation, AI integration, branding, graphic design and all general marketing for the company.

Established in 1994, Pepper Lunch is one of Japan’s largest homegrown franchise restaurant brands with over 500 locations in 15 countries. Renowned for quality food served in a unique and innovative way for dining in or delivery, and with guest being able to get in, dine, and be on their way in 20 minutes for under $20, the beloved Japanese-based brand seeks experienced franchise partners to expand its proven business model and cutting-edge customer offerings across the United States.

“It’s our goal to create the same fondness guests have Pepper Lunch abroad right here in the states, and to accomplish that, a best-in-class leadership team is critical,” says Pepper Lunch CEO, Troy Hooper. “We have gone from filing our FDD to nearly 40 restaurants in the development pipeline, headed by experienced multi-unit franchisees, in just a few short months. With the additional of Mark and Jonathan to our executive team, we’re anticipating continued growth trajectory as we head to 100 locations open in the coming two years.”

Employee Management, Fast Casual, News, Pepper Lunch