Farmer Boys names Joseph Ortiz president, COO

17-year foodservice veteran takes over for Dave Wetzel, who is retiring

Farmer Boys promoted Joseph Ortiz to president and chief operating officer (COO), replacing longtime leader of the brand, Dave Wetzel. Ortiz had previously served as vice president of finance & accounting. In that position he had led the finance and accounting teams, also overseeing the information technology team. In that role, he also created new strategies and growth models, also improving workflow and development plans, noted a statement from Farmer Boys.

Ortiz, who will now lead the Southern California burger brand, brings to the new position 17 years of operations and finance experience in the foodservice industry, including restaurants. He served in leadership roles at notable companies, including BakeMark and CKE Restaurant Holdings (parent of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.)

Ortiz said, “I am honored and humbled to be selected as the new Farmer Boys president.”

Soon-to-retire Wetzel was promoted to president and COO not long after joining Farmer Boys in 2020 as SVP of operations. “Under his leadership,” according to an announcement, “Farmer Boys grew average unit volumes by over 20 percent, improved the drive-thru experience by investing in new equipment and technology, opened its first Arizona location, and strengthened its position as a fast casual competitor in the hyper-competitive California, Nevada, and Arizona markets.”

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“It has truly been a great honor to have worked alongside the Farmer Boys team as their president for the past 3 years,” said Wetzel. “The accomplishment that I am most proud of was our ability to recruit and retain such an amazing team. I am grateful to the team members who are the pulse of the Farmer Boys brand. I know that Joseph will continue leading the team towards success. I am excited to see what the Farmer Boys team will harvest in the coming years.”

Upon retirement, Wetzel plans to focus on nonprofit work.

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