The former California Pizza Kitchen executive will be leading the brand’s menu revamp strategy
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews has announced the hiring of Brian Sullivan as its new Vice President of Culinary & Beverage Innovation. Sullivan will be leading the brand’s efforts to elevate the guest dining experience, which include investing more in food quality and refreshing the menu, as part of the recently-unveiled “North Star” five-point turnaround plan to drive stronger results for the business.
Sullivan is well-positioned to lead this initiative as a visionary leader with over 40 years of industry-leading expertise in food and beverage innovation, menu strategy, franchise partnerships and retail food development.
In his 34-year career at California Pizza Kitchen, culminating in his role as Senior Vice President of Culinary Innovation, he led the company’s creative development and deployment of new menu items, infusing flavors from his global travels – to Thailand, China, Italy, Japan, and France – into craveable, iconic dishes and recipes. He also authored three cookbooks featuring his unique spin on California cuisine and California-style pizzas. From the farmers’ market to the table, Brian has inspired many to put on an apron and create amazing food. As he likes to say, “If you cook with love, your food always tastes better!”
“I enjoyed working with Brian during my time at California Pizza Kitchen and consider him one of the best culinary minds in the industry,” said G.J. Hart, Red Robin President and Chief Executive Officer. “I am excited he has joined Red Robin and will be leading our culinary and beverage strategy. Menu quality and innovation is a major component of our comeback plan and Brian and his team are making great progress on menu enhancements we will roll out later this year.”
Sullivan added, “I am excited to join an iconic brand like Red Robin, known for their wide variety of gourmet burgers, bottomless fries, and creative beverages. It has been a blast diving in my first few weeks here, meeting the team and our operators, and identifying upside on quality and innovation. We are going to create an amazing menu and have a lot of fun!”