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Q&A with Bojangles’ New CEO

On Monday, January 28, Bojangles’ welcomed Jose Armario as the brand’s new Chief Executive Officer. An industry veteran, Jose has more than 30 years of experience working for a number of global brands.  We got a chance to sit down with Jose for a few minutes to learn more about him and his thoughts on the Bojangles’ brand.

First, let’s talk sports. Among those who know you well, it’s not a secret you are a big ACC fan. Who is your favorite team?

I do love the ACC and want to say that the Clemson Tigers did an amazing job this past season of representing our conference and winning the National Championship. I also love the legacy of ACC basketball, Tobacco Road and all the amazing rivalry games. With that said, I am a proud graduate of the University of Miami – go Hurricanes!

What is your favorite Bojangles’ menu item?

You can’t go wrong with anything on Bojangles’ menu, but for me, it’s absolutely the Cajun Filet Biscuit. No one else has anything like it, and it’s just as good for breakfast as it is for lunch and dinner. And I’ll take it with some Bo-Rounds, Dirty Rice and Cajun Pintos.

Bo-Rounds or Seasoned Fries? You can only choose one…

Bo-Rounds, with a side of Seasoned Fries!

Tell us about the first time you had Bojangles’.

I was in Raleigh for an ACC football game so naturally, we tailgated with a Big Bo Box.

Where is the best place you’ve ever visited?

My family and I have been blessed to travel around the world, but the best place is wherever we call home. What is better than being home?

What’s the last book you read?

Fried Chicken: An American Story by John T. Edge.  I’m not kidding!

What are some of your interests or hobbies outside of work?

I love all college sports, especially football, basketball and baseball. I also love to travel and work out.

What has been a defining moment in your life?

Marrying my high school sweetheart Mary.

What are you most excited about after taking over the CEO role at Bojangles’?

The opportunity to lead one of the most iconic brands in the industry is incredibly special for me. There is so much history behind the Bojangles’ brand, and getting to play a role in its continued success is an honor. I am also excited about the opportunity to work alongside so many talented business people.

Our fans and followers want to know if you expect to make any changes to the menu?

As long as I am CEO, we will do our best to serve the products our customers love and demand.

“Please open a Bojangles’ in my city!” is a request we get all the time. Can you tell us what we can expect when it comes to growth going forward?

We are in a wonderful position to have so many Bojangles’ fans throughout the nation and even outside the United States. Our plans are to carefully put together a growth strategy to help us serve all customers who want the best chicken, biscuits and tea.

It’s been reported that Bojangles’ Corporate Support Center would remain in Charlotte. Why do you think that decision was important?

Charlotte is where it all started, with Jack Fulk and Richard Thomas opening that first Bojangles’ off West Blvd. in 1977. We enjoy some incredible, long-lasting relationships with business partners and non-profit organizations across the region, and we have a great team in place at the Support Center. There’s no reason to change any of that.

What changes should Bojangles’ fans expect in the near future?

Changes are always a possibility, but I don’t want Bojangles’ fans to lose any sleep. We’ll always be committed to serving the very best chicken, buttermilk biscuits and tea around, and you’ll always be able to get our industry-leading breakfast all day, every day.

What are your initial thoughts about the Bojangles’ brand and its people?

There is a very strong culture behind the Bojangles’ brand. That’s one of the first things I learned. There’s a real sense of unity. Our team at the Bojangles’ Support Center has one goal in mind: to support our franchisees, field leaders and restaurant teams.  And our franchisees, field leaders and restaurant teams are all committed to bringing the consumer an excellent experience. This type of culture doesn’t just happen overnight. It speaks volumes for the caliber of individuals working for this company. The values team members live by here – hard work, teamwork, harmony, listening and respect – resonate with my personal values.

Where do you see Bojangles’ in 10 years?

I see franchise growth leading the way for the Bojangles’ brand, certainly in the Southeast, but especially in newer markets such as the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. I wouldn’t want to put a definitive number out there in terms of restaurants, but I can envision a lot more Bojangles’ 10 years from now. I can say with conviction that our leaders at Durational Capital Management and The Jordan Company are fully invested, very involved and passionate about growing this brand, so the future promises to be very bright.