Galardi will now oversee same-store sales and will be responsible for building the Wienerschnitzel, Tastee-Freeze and Hamburger Stand store networks while maintaining his role as the primary marketing support for the brand. He will continue to work closely with his mother, Cindy Galardi Culpepper.
“Unlike some sons and daughters who inherit the family business, J.R. insisted on learning every facet of the Wienerschnitzel business from the ground up,” said Cindy Galardi Culpepper, CEO and chairman. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that we’ve been planning for this day since his first shift as a fry cook at the age of 13. As a result, there is no one better qualified to take The World’s Largest Hot Dog Chain boldly into the future.”
Galardi is a graduate of the Univ. of Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in business and music. He learned the business by shadowing his father, and company founder, John Galardi. “I went to every meeting, listened in on every conference call and participated in (almost) every decision he made,” J.R. Galardi said in a statement. “It was an amazing way to learn and it uniquely prepared me for today.” John Galardi died in 2013.
As executive vice president, J.R. Galardi supported operations, marketing, franchise development and community relations for GGI. He also served as director of administration, and created the Wienerschnitzel Visionary Department which works to build brand loyalty among younger consumers through digital marketing, interactive experiences and event and charity partnerships.
“I have a passion for introducing ‘The Wienerschnitzel Way’ to multiple audiences,” J.R. Galardi said. “We are all about relationships with our guests — both new and returning — and without them, we wouldn’t be the restaurant we are today. My father built this company from the ground up and my goal is to continue the legacy we all love.”
Wienerschnitzel operates or franchises 331 stores in 10 states and Guam.