Cole Thompson takes up newly created role of VP of culinary at WOWorks | Global Franchise
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Tuesday 4th October, 2022

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Cole Thompson takes up newly created role of VP of culinary at WOWorks

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Cole Thompson takes up newly created role of VP of culinary at WOWorks

He will lead menu innovation for three of WOWorks’ six restaurant brands

In his new role, Cole Thompson will oversee culinary R&D and operations for Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, The Simple Greek, Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina.

“I joined WOWorks because it’s a company made up of some truly amazing people and brands,” he said. “At WOWorks, I have the opportunity to provide our guests with better-for-you ingredients that are bold, “craveable” and full of flavor.”

A classically trained chef from the culinary school at Johnson & Wales University, Cole has more than 15 years of experience in the food industry, spanning fine dining, fast casual brands, and culinary research and development. Most recently, he served as the corporate executive chef at RaceTrac.  

Katie Cavuto, WOWorks’ executive chef for Saladworks, Frutta Bowls, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh and The Simple Greek, will transition into a newly created role of vice president of culinary for Saladworks, Frutta Bowls, and Zoup! Eatery.

“We created our new vice president of culinary roles because menu innovation and keeping abreast of the fresh, exciting flavors and ingredients is a crucial part of each of our restaurants at WOWorks,” said Kelly Roddy, CEO of WOWorks. “We want our guests at each of our restaurant brands to enjoy seasonal and fresh menu items that not only provide a healthier meal choice but also satisfy their desire for tasty offerings.”

Cole will report to John Geyerman, chief brand officer for Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, The Simple Greek, and Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina.

In addition to overseeing culinary R&D and operations for the three brands, Cole will also be in charge of menu innovation, study and forecast consumer flavor trends and create guiding principles to deliver best-in-class food and beverage offerings for each brand’s company-owned and franchised stores. Previously, Cole spent nearly three years as culinary R&D director at Moe’s Southwest Grille.    

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