Wichita, Kan. — JRI Hospitality, which operates four restaurant brands spread throughout the country, has opened a new 3,286-square-foot office in Wichita, Kan., to help continue its growth trajectory and added two senior-level executives who will work there.
Mark Scholler has joined the company as its new chief development officer. Scholler previously served as senior vice president of franchise development for Freddy’s LLC — the parent company of the Freddy’s brand — since 2007. He has almost 50 years of restaurant experience over the course of his career.
Scholler had retired from Freddy’s in December 2020, but Jason Ingermanson, founder and CEO of JRI Hospitality, talked him out of retirement after just 18 days to assist with the new brands and provide institutional knowledge where requested. Scholler said the opportunity to work not only with the Freddy’s brand but the other three concepts owned by JRI was key in his decision to take the CDO role.
Additionally, Chris Hitchcock has joined JRI as its vice president of development and construction. Hitchcock is responsible for selecting and acquiring real estate for JRI’s restaurants. He has 20 years of expertise in real estate management, negotiation and assisting in property development.
The hires come as JRI continues an extensive expansion across the country. Founded in 2011, JRI Hospitality owns and operates over 75 restaurants, including Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Mokas Cafe, The Original Grande and Chompie’s Restaurants. JRI is projected to expand its reach with 20 projects per year in the next few years.
Ingermanson said the new office, which is located in the Hartman Oil Company building in Wichita, is part of an overall strategic plan to support the company’s franchise expansion.
“We are excited about the Wichita office expansion and how it will allow us to continue our plans for growth,” Ingermanson says. “We want to ensure that we have the kind of infrastructure and reach we need to support our locations, and the team based in Wichita will be an important part of those efforts.”
JRI Hospitality is based in Salina, Kan., with restaurants located in 13 states. The company is a franchisee of the Freddy’s brand and is actively working to attract new franchisees for the three brands that it owns — Mokas Cafe, The Original Grande and Chompie’s Restaurants. For more information, visit www.jriusa.com.
SOURCE: JRI Hospitality