Pilot Flying J Brings on VP of Food Innovation

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pilot Flying J has named Shannon Johnson as vice president of food innovation. As a new part of the senior leadership team, Johnson will be 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 customers.

Johnson will also 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, the company said.

"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," stated Pilot Flying J President Ken Parent. "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."

The company's proprietary PJ Fresh concept is based on the fast-casual restaurant idea of delivering fresh-made food to consumers. It offers a wide variety of food options, ranging from green salads and fruit bowls to fresh-made sandwiches, chicken wings, handmade tacos, meatloaf dinners and roasted half-chickens with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Johnson previously served as chief food innovation officer for KFC and product innovation director at McDonald's U.S.A. His most recent role was director of the Michael P. Hennen Hospitality & Culinary Center at Chattanooga State Community College. He attended Beringer Vineyards School for American Chefs and received a culinary arts degree from Johnson and Wales in Providence, R.I. He is also a certified executive chef by the American Culinary Federation and holds a Level 1 Sommelier Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Pilot Flying J has more than 750 retail locations in North America.

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