Previously the vice president of food and beverage research and development for Dave & Buster’s, Czizek replaces Applebee’s former vice president of culinary and menu strategy Shannon Johnson, who was named director of culinary innovation at USA a year ago.
Prior to Dave & Buster’s, Czizek served as culinary and beverage director at Romano’s Macaroni Grill and as executive at Mel Hollen Restaurant Concepts, both in Dallas.
At Applebee’s, Czizek will report to Becky Johnson, senior vice president, marketing and culinary. His first day on the job was May 13, and he is tasked with leading the continuing evolution of the menu and regular introduction of fresh, flavorful dishes that provide both value and a unique culinary experience, the company said.
“I’m honored to join the Applebee’s culinary team and excited to lead such a talented staff of chefs,” Czizek said in a statement. “Applebee’s has a long history of delivering delicious and wide-ranging menus that keep the neighborhood coming back for more, and I look forward to shaping what the Applebee’s menu of tomorrow looks like with more you’ll-be-back flavor.”
The Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar chain includes about 2,000 locations in 49 states, 15 countries and one U.S. territory. The mostly franchised brand is owned by Glendale, Calif.-based DineEquity Inc.
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