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Pilot Flying J Appoints VP Of Food Innovation Ahead Of $485M Expansion

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Pilot Flying J has named Shannon Johnson VP of food innovation.

“As Pilot Flying J embarks on a $485 million, five-year modernization and expansion plan, a key component of the strategy includes our food offerings,” said Ken Parent, Pilot Flying J president. “Shannon Johnson brings the experience and expertise needed to continue to enhance our restaurant partnerships as part of our food offerings, as well as our PJ Fresh fast-casual dining. Fresh, quick alternatives and homestyle meals are important to our guests, and we’re committed to continuing to offer the best in quality and convenience.”

Johnson is a new senior leadership team member responsible for the continuous development of the
PJ Fresh Marketplace brand, as well as a variety of new and innovative food and beverage options for guests. In addition, Johnson will help Pilot Flying J continue to give consumers choices and best-in-class food options, as well as an extensive variety of beverage offerings along the interstate, according to the company.

The company says its proprietary PJ Fresh concept is based on the fast-casual restaurant idea of delivering fresh-made food to consumers, offering a wide variety of delicious food options ranging from healthy green salads and fruit bowls to fresh made sandwiches, crispy chicken wings, hand-made tacos, meatloaf dinners, and roasted half-chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

When customers think about where they want to eat, Pilot Flying J says it wants to give them options—from PJ Fresh to Subway, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Cinnabon to the many other fast-dining options it offers.

Johnson’s experience includes serving as chief food innovation officer for KFC, and product innovation director at McDonald’s U.S.A. Most recently he served as director of the Michael P. Hennen Hospitality & Culinary Center at Chattanooga State Community College.

Johnson attended Beringer Vineyards School for American Chefs and received his culinary arts degree from Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. A certified executive chef by the American Culinary Federation, he also holds a Level 1 Sommelier Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and has more than 750 retail locations, 44 Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers and 43 Boss Shops.

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