Name: Scott Rodriguez
New title: Senior vice president and chief culinary officer, Applebee’s
Previous title: SVP of menu strategy & product innovation, Papa Johns
Applebee’s announced Rodriguez’s appointment to his new post on Monday. He will spend his first few months at the company learning from guests, the restaurant’s corporate teams and its franchise partners to understand what customers seek from the brand’s menu.
Rodriguez has over two decades of casual dining experience, working most recently as Papa John’s SVP of menu strategy and product innovation, according to his LinkedIn profile. Previously, he worked at BJ’s for almost 12 years as senior director of culinary development and as senior vice president of culinary and kitchen innovation.
“Scott possesses a unique blend of culinary creativity, operational pragmatism, and big-brand leadership,” Applebee’s President John Cywinski said in the press release.
Rodriguez will also serve on Applebee’s operations and marketing committees “to drive alignment on future innovation alongside brand leaders and franchise partners,” the release states. He succeeds former chief culinary officer Stephen Bulgarelli, who held the post starting in 2017 and also served as culinary lead of virtual brand Cosmic Wings.