Applebee’s announced that Chef Shannon Johnson has joined the leadership team as Vice President of Culinary. A classically trained chef, Johnson has served as Applebee’s Interim Head of Culinary since June. In his previous tenure with the brand, Johnson served as an executive chef on Applebee’s culinary team in various roles from 2003-2012, including menu development, innovation, and strategy.
“We are thrilled to officially welcome back Chef Shannon to Applebee’s! His institutional knowledge of the brand and its trajectory over the years, paired with a deep understanding of casual dining culinary innovation, makes him the perfect person to lead our culinary strategy,” said Applebee’s Chief Marketing Officer Joel Yashinsky. “We can’t wait to share with our guests the delicious new menu items his culinary team has been creating!”
“I began my culinary innovation career at Applebee’s exactly 20 years ago, which is why Applebee’s has always had a special place in my heart,” said Vice President of Culinary Shannon Johnson. “I had the honor of learning from Applebee’s late founder, Bill Palmer, and I’m excited to return and continue Bill’s vision for the future of Applebee’s with new and exciting flavors balanced with due respect for the nostalgic flavors and meals our guests love.”
Chef Johnson will work in tandem with marketing and operations brand leaders and franchise partners to drive alignment on culinary innovation.
A seasoned industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, Chef Johnson has fine-tuned his craft for culinary innovation through his work with other brands including McDonald’s, YUM! Brands, and Disney’s California Adventure, among others. A certified executive chef from the American Culinary Federation, he is a graduate of Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University.
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