Playa Bowls hires industry veteran as president to bolster domestic and international growth

Some of Playa Bowls’ acai offerings.

Ocean County-based Playa Bowls on Thursday announced it appointed Mark Belanger as the company’s president. The seasoned industry veteran has a proven track record of leading successful food and beverage companies and will be responsible for leading Playa Bowls’ domestic and international growth.

“Belanger has an exceptional reputation for exceeding business and financial objectives in the restaurant industry and will be a valuable asset as we continue to grow and develop our company,” Rob Giuliano, co-founder and CEO of Playa Bowls, said.”We are pleased to have Belanger on the executive team and look forward to his contributions in leading us into the next chapter of our brand’s growth.”

Belanger brings more than three decades of experience in establishing and implementing strategic business plans, introducing new products and service initiatives, and developing policies, operations systems and procedures for leading retail brands. Most recently, he was the president of global development at Craftworks Restaurants and Brewery Group, where he led the company’s franchise development strategy. Belanger’s extensive career also includes roles at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Dunkin’ Brands Inc. and Starbucks Coffee Corp., where he held various positions in operations.

“I’m honored to join the passionate team at Playa Bowls and see tremendous opportunity to build on the brand’s existing restaurant platforms,” Belanger said “I look forward to building new business verticals, relationships and creating long lasting partnerships with our franchisees and key vendors to grow the brand’s presence in key markets.”

Since its inception in 2014, Playa Bowls has emerged as a leader in the national superfruit bowl shop segment. Today, the brand has 165-plus locations systemwide, operating in 20 states, with two additional states under development in Kentucky and Alabama. Under Belanger’s leadership, Playa Bowls intends to continue to expand its domestic footprint across the U.S. and globally.