Uncle Julio’s Restaurant Group appointed industry marketer and innovator Dan Wheeler as Chief Marketing Officer. Wheeler brings more than 30 years of experience building compelling communications and brand experiences to support and further growth plans at Uncle Julio’s.

Wheeler’s role as CMO includes leading brand strategy, digital marketing, new revenue generation and menu innovation. As the digital space has become increasingly important for customer engagement, Wheeler will focus on expanding the use of technology to drive trial and loyalty among current and new audiences, as well as bringing a virtual brand to market. He reports to Tom Vogel, CEO of Uncle Julio’s Restaurant Group.

“Dan’s restaurant experience and innovative perspective make him a perfect fit for the stage we are at as a company,” Vogel says. “He will play an important role in driving growth across all of our concepts as we accelerate the pace of new initiatives related to growing off-premise and on-premise sales.”

In a year that has necessitated reinvention for many brands, Uncle Julio’s has been able to successfully leverage its focus on quality, freshness and creating memories in new and exciting ways, the company said.

An expanded to-go program has been a hit with customers, and by offering delivery through third-party partners, the brand was able to provide its high-quality fare to a wider audience. Wheeler, a veteran of bringing brands like Wahlburgers, Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins into consumer’s daily lives in new and relevant ways, will help push transformation further for the group’s current portfolio of restaurants and pursue additional channels for revenue growth.

Wheeler served as senior vice president of marketing and innovation at Wahlburgers. Before, he spent eight years at Dunkin’ Brands, working in multiple roles across global innovation in marketing technology, new products, and new concepts.  

“I’m super pumped about the opportunity in front of us at Uncle Julio’s,” Wheeler says. “When you have a company full of people fanatically dedicated to creating memorable experiences for all these years, who are also open to contemporary new ideas, the space is created for something magical to happen.”

According to FoodserviceResults, Uncle Julio’s revenue in 2019 jumped to $230 million from $210 million the prior year. It upped to 36 domestic units from 34 and saw its average-unit volumes inch forward to $6.571 million from $6.563 million.

Chain Restaurants, Industry News