WOWorks, the holding company of good-for-you restaurant brands, Saladworks, Frutta Bowls, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, The Simple Greek, Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina, and Zoup! Eatery, announced that Cole Thompson was appointed as the company’s Vice President of Culinary for Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, The Simple Greek, Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina, effective July 18, 2022. Thompson is a classically trained chef from the culinary school at Johnson & Wales University with more than 15 years in the food industry with experience in fine dining, fast casual brands, and culinary research and development. Most recently, Thompson served as the Corporate Executive Chef at RaceTrac.  

Cole Thompson’s role of Vice President of Culinary will oversee culinary R&D and operations for Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, The Simple Greek, Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina. Katie Cavuto, WOWorks’ Executive Chef for Saladworks, Frutta Bowls, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh and The Simple Greek, will transition into a newly created role of Vice President of Culinary for Saladworks, Frutta Bowls, and Zoup! Eatery.

“We created our new Vice President of Culinary roles because menu innovation and keeping abreast of the fresh, exciting flavors and ingredients is a crucial part of each of our restaurants at WOWorks,” says Kelly Roddy, CEO of WOWorks. “We want our guests at each of our restaurant brands to enjoy seasonal and fresh menu items that not only provide a healthier meal choice, but also satisfy their desire for tasty offerings.”

Thompson will report to John Geyerman, Chief Brand Officer for Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, The Simple Greek, and Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina, He will oversee all three of these restaurant brands’ culinary research and development; menu innovation; study and forecast consumer flavor trends; and create guiding principles to deliver best-in-class food and beverage offerings for each brand’s company-owned and franchised stores. Previously, Thompson has also spent nearly three years as Culinary R&D Director at Moe’s Southwest Grille.     

“I joined WOWorks because it’s a company made up of some truly amazing people and brands,” says Thompson. “At WOWorks, I have the opportunity to provide our guests with better-for-you ingredients that are bold, “craveable” and full of flavor.”

WOWorks franchise owners come from diverse backgrounds, including existing franchise owners of different brands, various business ownership backgrounds in construction, hotels, and fitness, former professional athletes and military veterans. The company has franchising opportunities available in 49 states (all states excluding Hawaii) and offers 25 percent off franchise fees for veterans and first responders.

Employee Management, Fast Casual, News, Barberitos, Garbanzo, The Simple Greek