Chief Executive Officer
Julio Ramirez has over 40 years of experience in the multi-unit restaurant industry. Mr. Ramirez founded JEM Global, Inc., (“JEM”) a company specializing in assisting QSR and fast casual brands’ with franchising and development efforts domestically and internationally. Though JEM, he consulted Dunkin Brands on its Brazil entry strategy and Buffalo Wings and Rings on its Mexico development strategy. He was also co-owner of Giordino Gourmet Salads, South Florida’s premier fast-casual concept, helping to grow the brand in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Naples, Florida. Prior to JEM, Mr. Ramirez was with Burger King Corporation for over 25 years. In his role at Burger King he introduced the brand in over 10 countries throughout Latin America, effectively establishing the supply chain, selecting outstanding franchisees, and building successful teams in several Central and South American countries. Mr. Ramirez holds an MBA from the University of Georgia. He has also completed the Advanced Management Program from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as an Executive Board Member of the United Way of Miami-Dade County, was a founding member of the BurgerKing “Have it Your Way” Foundation, and is currently a member of the prestigious Orange Bowl Committee. Mr. Ramirez was an external director at Grupo Intur – the largest franchisee of American QSR brands in Central America with over 200 locations of 8 different brands across several nations.
Chief Financial Officer
Rabinovitch holds over 25 years of extensive financial leadership skills from best-in-class publicly held retail and distribution companies, high growth retail concepts, extensive international experience and has completed and integrated over 25 acquisitions valued at over $2 billion dollars during his career. For nearly a decade, Rabinovitch served as Chief Financial Officer of Mayors Jewelers, Birks Group Inc., a (NYSEAMERICAN: BGI), with 77 locations across the United States and Canada. He was also the Vice President of Finance at Claire's Stores, Inc. during their years of rapid expansion and contributed to their growth from 1,200 to over 3,000 locations in 10 countries during his six year tenure with the brand. Rabinovitch began his career with Price Waterhouse (now PwC). He is a licensed certified public accountant (inactive). Rabinovitch has both Bachelor of Science degrees in accounting and finance from Florida State University and is an advisory board member of the School of Accounting at both Florida State University and University of South Florida.
Chief Operating Officer
Most recently as Senior Vice President of Operations for Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT) Esposito grew market share and revenue streams by ensuring the effective management of 105 company-owned locations globally. He drove revenue up by 15.2% to $159.7 million and EBITDA up by 15.7% to $65.6 million in 2019. In his role he coached, trained, and mentored a team of 1,400 employees through leading and influencing, improving employee satisfaction, and dramatically reducing turnover. He spearheaded leadership of global operations; transformed $60 million dollars in annual real estate development, optimized $150 million dollars in revenue and ignited $80 million dollars in bottom-line profits. Prior to joining Planet Fitness, Esposito worked for Panera Bread, where he collaborated with a cross-functional team to drive business results, improve drive-thru process efficiencies and introduce Panera 2.0, an integrated experience that meets the differentiated needs of to-go, dine-in, and large order delivery customers through new mechanisms for ordering, payment processing, and consumer consumption. Previously, Esposito held the position of Chief Operating Officer at Papa Gino’s which included two brands, Papa Gino’s Pizzeria and D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches, where he was directly responsible for creating an environment that delivered exceptional operations, sales growth, and increased profitability for 336 restaurants and over 25 licensees which resulted in annual sales of $250 million. Esposito spent over a decade at Burger King Corporation, where he held a number of key operations positions such as running the Atlanta and Boston company markets and directing strategic and tactical leadership for field operations. In his last role as Senior Director of Global Restaurant Systems and Development, he provided restaurant technology support to over 1,400 restaurants in 10 countries around the world.
Chief Culinary Officer
Paul Griffin has served as the Chief Culinary Officer for BurgerFi International, Inc. since the inception of the Company in 2011. He is a classically trained chef from the Philadelphia Restaurant School. Originally from New Zealand, Chef Paul’s career started at an early age in the world-class Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, FL. As a founding member of the Company, he established the chef-inspired culinary foundation of BurgerFi, in a scalable manner. Chef Paul has implemented 4-star quality systems and culinary techniques, with an emphasis on fresh, all-natural ingredients, to everyday fast casual dining, and scalable for growth. In addition, Chef Paul oversees BurgerFi’s supply chain, manages the Company’s R&D, and is responsible for creating the BFI commissary, which has vertically integrated many of BFI’s proprietary products, and also a separate national wholesale division. Chef Paul’s culinary leadership has not only helped BurgerFi become one of the nation’s fastest-growing better burger concepts, he has also brought the brand significant and meaningful accolades including: Franchise Times Kitchen Royalty 2020 and Best Veggie Burger by New York Magazine. To this day, the chef-founded concept continues to be committed to serving fresh, high quality food of transparent quality.
Chief Marketing Officer
Gonzalez joins BurgerFi after serving as Founder of Bigger Slice Consulting, a marketing consulting practice focused on helping companies accelerate and sustain profitable growth by collaborating with them to define or refine their brand or value proposition, brand and product portfolio, strategic and tactical marketing plans, campaigns and communications. Prior to, he served as Chief Marketing Officer of Costa Farms, leading the marketing and category management teams developing new products, brands, merchandising and promotions to serve Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ikea, Kroger and other top retailers.For nearly a decade, Gonzalez worked at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the preeminent ad agency of its time where he leveraged his experience working at Burger King to help lead Burger King’s US business during their tenure as Ad Age Client of the Decade. His agency experience also included leading teams working with top brands like MetLife, McDonald’s, Aspen Dental, Infiniti, Sam’s Club and others. Gonzalez has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida.
Chief Legal Officer
Ross Goldstein has served as the Chief Legal Officer of BurgerFi since 2012. He has over 20 years of legal experience, specializing in franchising, real estate, general corporate and business transactions. At BurgerFi, Mr. Goldstein focuses on the negotiation, drafting and execution of all franchise agreements and real estate leases, drafting and filing the Franchise Disclosure Document and any amendments in all registration states, and mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and other business combinations. Prior to that, from 2009 to 2012, Mr. Goldstein was the General Counsel for The Learning Experience, LLC, a fast-growing childcare franchise, and before that, from 2007 to 2009, he was the Associate General Counsel for Dycom Industries, Inc., a public telecommunications company. Prior to going in-house, from 2005 to 2007, Mr. Goldstein was a Senior Associate at the law firm of Nason Yeager Gerson Harris & Fumero P.A. Mr. Goldstein holds a J.D. from the Seton Hall University School of Law and a B.A. from Gettysburg College, where he played varsity baseball.
Chief Technology Officer
Karl Goodhew joins as Chief Technology Officer of BurgerFi after serving as Director of Software Engineering at Macy’s Inc., a $17 billion-dollar, Fortune 500 multi-brand retailer. He has also held positions at Home Depot, YellowPepper that was acquired by Visa, and JCPenney where he was responsible for all aspects of the 5-star rated consumer mobile apps. For almost a decade, Goodhew has served in leadership roles at various large retailers and start-ups. Goodhew recently helped launch Market by Macy’s, led the cloud transformation for Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, and built a diverse team of engineers focused on store selling and operations. At YellowPepper, Goodhew built a PCI compliant payment system and integrated the solution into Facebook Messenger. Goodhew has delivered cloud architecture solutions, successful digital customer experiences and secure financial systems throughout his career. Goodhew has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Georgia.