Hard Rock International—owner of one of the world’s most-recognizable and iconic brands—announced the appointment of Stephen K. Judge as President of Cafe Operations. In this new role, Judge will use his more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry to oversee daily operations for 176 corporate and franchise locations around the world, drive Hard Rock’s world-famous branded retail merchandise business while growing and strengthening the Hard Rock Cafe portfolio. Judge will report directly to Chief Executive Officer of Hard Rock International Jim Allen.
“Stephen has an impressive record of exceptional leadership and in-depth experience in leading innovation and driving growth in the restaurant industry,” says Jim Allen, chief executive officer for Hard Rock International. “We look forward to seeing Stephen lead the business and work to grow the Hard Rock Cafe brand.”
Before joining Hard Rock, Judge was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Romacorp, overseeing 150 restaurants in 32 countries. Throughout his career, he has played key leadership roles in a number of academy/premier hospitality companies, including Bloomin’ Brands, Darden Restaurants, MGM Mirage, Rosewood Hotels, in addition to working for several years in the cruise industry.
For more than 30 years, Judge has overseen the inception of new restaurant and bar concepts, directed multi-year food and beverage menu evolution and led food preparation and guest service efforts with uncompromising attention to detail. Internationally recognized as a world-class restaurant and hospitality brand, Hard Rock operates cafes across the world that are visited by more than 79 million guests each year.
Its first cafe opened in London, England, and from there the brand has expanded to major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris, Sydney and Tokyo, and exotic settings such as Kuala Lumpur, Dubai and Malta. Hard Rock Cafe offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience with a commitment to serving fresh, high-quality ingredients. To satisfy the consumer’s ever-changing palate, Hard Rock continually updates its menu with limited-time offerings including burger pairings, innovative cocktails and more.