Global restaurant chain Johnny Rockets is pleased to announce the appointment of Joel Bulger as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
With more than 20 years of relevant experience in the restaurant industry, Bulger brings extensive marketing and brand development expertise to the role. His executive leadership will be instrumental in growing and protecting the all-American restaurant brand.
Prior to joining Johnny Rockets, Bulger held leadership positions with restaurant brands that include Church's Chicken, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, and Wendy's International, as well as leading national promotions for Coca-Cola.
Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer John Fuller, Bulger will lead the existing team of marketing executives in the areas of local restaurant marketing and corporate communications. He is responsible for driving the overall Johnny Rockets marketing strategy that will build brand positioning through field marketing, public relations, guest services, agency management, new menu item launches, and social media, both domestically and internationally.
"We definitely took our time to make sure we had the best person for the job," says John Fuller, CEO of Johnny Rockets. "With Joel's bold approach, proven skills and obvious enthusiasm, we look to him to help grow Johnny Rockets, in terms of both sales and unit growth. By keeping our brand top-of-mind and making sure it's perceived as a premiere dining destination, I'm confident he will increase our appeal with both consumers and potential franchisees."
An industry leader, Bulger comes to Johnny Rockets with a rich history in the restaurant industry. As vice president of brand marketing at Moe's Southwest Grill in Atlanta, Bulger led the marketing and creative for 420 restaurants. After his active role in transitioning the Moe's Southwest Grill brand, Bulger accepted a position with Church's Chicken as senior vice president of brand marketing where he was responsible for national advertising, menu and product development, and creative strategy for the 1,250-unit brand.
During his tenure at Darden Restaurants, Inc., Bulger worked on both the Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse brands, holding roles as senior director of brand marketing, brand director of new business development, and director of field marketing.
Bulger also worked with Wendy's International, Inc. as the director of marketing in the Southeast Region, responsible for more than 2,500 restaurants.
Bulger began his marketing career with Fricks/Firestone Advertising in Atlanta, where he worked with national clients, including United Healthcare, Royal Oak Charcoal, and AFC Enterprises, Inc. He graduated from University of Georgia with a B.A. in Journalism and Advertising before acquiring his M.B.A. in International Business from the Stetson School of Business and Economics (Mercer University) in Atlanta.
"The high-quality, all-American food combined with the fun, classic atmosphere sets Johnny Rockets apart from other hamburger chains," says Bulger. "I am eager to get involved and help the brand continue to thrive in growing markets, and deliver on their guest promise as an escape from modern day stress for all guests."