After a couple of difficult years, the restaurant industry has never needed a company like Full Course
more. And the rapid growth of the restaurant and development group Full Course has seen is a testament to just that. Full Course, founded by Lauren Fernandez, is a new kind of restaurant investment group dedicated to helping new and emerging brands grow through education and resources. Now the organization is expanding its executive leadership team to accommodate for this rapid growth and continue serving the restaurant industry.
Lissa Bowen joins Full Course as Chief People + Culture Officer. In this role, she will work directly with Full Course clients to develop their purpose and mission, build out key people initiatives, and create training programs that are aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives. Bowen brings a lengthy resume in recruiting and human resources to Full Course, and her own experience in restaurant operations and management. She has previously held leadership roles in recruiting and talent at Fifth Group Restaurants, Altisource/Owners.com
, FOCUS Brands and The Home Depot.
“I’m excited about helping grow the next generation of restaurant leaders,” Bowen says. “There is room for improvement in how our industry treats people, and I’m happy to lead this effort for Full Course.”
James Kahler joins the team as Chief Operations Officer. In this role, Kahler will oversee Full Course client operations consulting, organizational leadership, vendor management, systems integrations, franchise creation and development, and more. Kahler comes to Full Course from Chicken Salad Chick, where he served as a business consultant. He has extensive experience working in the restaurant industry, having worked in almost every job from line cook, dishwasher and bartender to manager and multi-unit owner. He brings a breadth of experience and intimate knowledge of the industry to his new role.
“I look forward to growing Full Course as a company so we can help emerging restaurant brands transform their dreams into a very successful reality,” says Kahler.
Full Course CEO and founder Lauren Fernandez is overwhelmed with the support and excitement. Full Course is in their first formal year as a company.
“We’ve been fortunate that the idea, mission, and purpose of Full Course has been so well received by our peers,” Fernandez says. “The industry has been supportive across clients, vendors, and investors who understand that we’re out to change the way this industry approaches growth and supports independent restaurants. There has never been a time when this has been more needed.”
Full Course is planning continued growth throughout the year. Fernandez says they will continue to expand the team in support of major education initiatives, several new clients, and at least three clients moving to investment this calendar year.