Restaurant Industry Veteran Joins Fuzzy’s Taco Shop as CMO

“I love Fuzzy’s badass attitude and strong values,” said Patrick Kirk, who joins the company after serving in roles at national brands including Applebee's, Tony Roma’s, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Restaurant industry veteran Patrick Kirk has joined Irving-based Fuzzy’s Taco Shop as chief marketing officer.

Kirk previously was vice president of bar and beverage for Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar. The company said that at Fuzzy’s, he will continue to define the Fuzzy’s Taco Shop experience as he develops and delivers strategic direction across all aspects of marketing including advertising, digital marketing, and culinary and beverage innovation.

“Over the past eight years, Patrick has disrupted the casual dining industry through stand-out marketing campaigns at Applebee’s,” Fuzzy’s President Paul Damico said in a statement. “His ability to create strategic platforms and forge strong brand and franchisee partnerships with a focus on creating buzzworthy and fun guest experiences is undeniable. I look forward to the new expertise and creative thinking he’ll bring to our talented team.”

Kirk has more than two decades of experience in the restaurant industry. He was responsible for creating industry-leading beverage programs and building trusted relationships at national brands, including Applebee’s, Tony Roma’s, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

In his previous role, Kirk led the vision and strategy for Applebee’s bar and beverage experience across restaurants nationwide, growing his marketing department into a substantial revenue driver for the business.

Loving the Fuzzy’s attitude, values, and vibe

“I love Fuzzy’s badass attitude and strong values,” Kirk said in a statement. “After Dine Brands acquired Fuzzy’s in 2022, I’ve had the chance to get to know the team and have been impressed by the way the brand brings its Baja vibe to life and connects with guests. I can’t wait to dive in further with the team to unlock the brand’s marketing potential.”

Kirk is a member of Millennium Advisory Board, a collection of industry leaders helping shape the future of on-premise beverage, Fuzzy’s said. He also has served on other industry councils including the VIBE Conference and the Bar & Nightclub Expo.

Founded in 2003 in Fort Worth, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is a fast-casual-plus restaurant serving Mexican favorites with a splash of Baja, the company said. As of December, 44 franchise groups operated 131 Fuzzy’s restaurants in 18 states within the United States and it had one company-owned restaurant in Texas, totaling 132 restaurants.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop restaurants are franchised by affiliates of Pasadena, California-based Dine Brands Global Inc.

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