How Geoff Alexander Is Elevating Fast Casual with Wow Bao

Play Watch

Interview with Wow Bao Founder Geoff Alexander about lessons learned from fine dining, the responsibility of leadership, and being forward thinking.

Key Takeaways

Bringing Fine Dining Lessons to Fast Casual

Geoff Alexander has been in the restaurant industry for a while. Spending time in various sectors has given him the unique ability to take lessons from the fine dining space and implement them into the Quick Service Restaurant space.

The Responsibility of Leadership

Leadership has its obligations. For Geoff Alexander, the biggest, most awesome responsibility is that there are people who rely on him and trust to play a role in their livelihood.

Forward Thinking and Early Adopters

Wow Bao is not afraid to be first to market. Geoff Alexander’s willingness to take risks and be an early adopter of technology and new items has helped open doors and provide opportunities for Wow Bao to receive publicity on a larger scale.


On this episode of Room for Seconds, Craveworthy Brands CEO Gregg Majewski sat with Wow Bao Founder Geoff Alexander at the National Restaurant Association Show 2024.

Drawing from his extensive experience in various sectors, Alexander, a seasoned veteran in the restaurant industry, has masterfully bridged the gap between fine dining and Quick Service Restaurants (QSR).

Alexander has successfully integrated high-end dining principles into the fast-casual space. In the interview, he highlights how exceptional brands, like Chick-fil-A, have adopted fine dining service standards to stand out in the QSR market. At Wow Bao, Alexander has implemented service elements derived from fine dining, setting the brand apart from its competitors and enhancing the overall customer experience.

“The lessons you learn in fine dining, the lessons you learn in the higher end, you can bring those to QSR and fast casual, and the really good brands bring elements to that.” says Alexander

Leadership in the restaurant industry comes with profound responsibilities, and for Alexander, the most significant aspect is the trust and reliance placed on him by investors, family, and employees. The importance of remembering the passion and fun that drew individuals to the industry and the immense responsibility of leading others, are to be held top of mind during day to day interactions. By prioritizing the success and well-being of those who count on him, Alexander fosters a culture of mutual growth and success, ultimately enhancing his work-life balance and reaping the rewards of a dedicated team.

““The thing that I take the most seriously about my responsibility is people are counting on me.” he expressed. “You chose this industry for a reason. Don't ever forget what that reason was; passion and fun.” 

Alexander also spoke on Wow Bao's forward-thinking approach and willingness to be early adopters of new technologies and ideas having aided in positioning the brand as a leader in the industry. The value of taking calculated risks and being prepared to face challenges head-on is par for the trailblazing course for Alexander. In fact, Alexander warns against being trapped by what is currently working, but instead champions companies for being pioneers.

“You can go out and spend a lot of money on marketing and you don't know if it works or doesn't work. Press is free.” explains Alexander. “The press that you can garner, the opportunities to come…That's why we're forward thinking. That's why we're early adopters of trying things out.”
Geoff Alexander's innovative leadership and commitment to integrating fine dining elements into fast casual have helped push Wow Bao to the top of the industry, proving that a blend of high-end principles and forward-thinking strategies can have significant impact.

Episode Links:



Geoff Alexander joined Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE) shortly after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1993. Rising to the position of Managing Partner in 2006, he took the reins of Wow Bao in 2009, expanding it into NFL and MLB stadiums, university campuses, and airports. He also launched a frozen product line now available at over 200 Midwest grocers. Under his leadership, Wow Bao became a tech innovator with fully automated locations, self-service kiosks, mobile and desktop online ordering, and a strong social media presence. A sought-after speaker on restaurant technologies and social media, Alexander has presented at numerous industry conferences. His foresight and expertise have earned him roles on several industry and civic boards, including Chairman of the National Restaurant Association’s Fast Casual Industry Council (FCIC) and an Executive Board Member for Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Association. He has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Fast Casual Executives by for three consecutive years.

About Gregg Majewski

Gregg Majewski has a vast amount of experience as a corporate executive in the restaurant industry. As the former CEO of Jimmy John’s, he played a major role in expanding the franchise from 33 to 300+ stores in just 5 years by surrounding the company’s marketing strategy around the innovative approach of delivering sandwiches and being “freaky fast”. Majewski has worked to develop restaurant concepts over the last two plus decades, before starting Craveworthy Brands in 2023, which currently includes a growing portfolio of restaurant brands.


Do you know someone who would be great on this show? Let us know by emailing us EMAIL or sending a DM on social media @craveworthybrands


Produced by Cali BBQ Media | Engage with Cali BBQ Media
“Every business needs to be a media company”

Related posts

Search Nation's Restaurant News: Dirty Dough Stands Out from the Dessert Crowd with Stuffed Cookies
Modern Restaurant Management: A Pivotal Moment Regarding Sustainability for Restaurants Search

Sign up for Craveworthy News!