Playa Bowls names former Smoothie King COO as its new CEO

Superfruit bowl shop hires industry veteran to accelerate franchise growth

Belmar-based Playa Bowls on Tuesday said it named Dan Harmon as its new CEO, effective immediately. He succeeds Playa Bowls co-founder Rob Giuliano, who will remain engaged in the business as chief innovation officer and continue to play a critical role in Playa Bowls’ strategic development.

A seasoned and accomplished franchise and restaurant industry veteran, Harmon has leadership experience from some of the industry’s most recognized and successful brands. Most recently, Harmon was the president and chief operations officer at Smoothie King, where he launched several transformative initiatives focused on profitability, productivity and ease of operations. Prior to joining the Smoothie King team, Harmon spent more than three decades growing his passion for franchising and refining operational processes with Papa Murphy’s, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Blockbuster and McDonald’s.

As CEO of Playa Bowls, Harmon will leverage his extensive industry experience to continue to build on the brand’s unique strengths and assume responsibility for accelerating its overall growth strategies and performance. Under Harmon’s leadership, Playa Bowls intends to continue to expand its domestic footprint across the U.S.

“Harmon has an exceptional reputation for exceeding business objectives and franchisee relationships in the restaurant industry and will be a valuable asset as we continue to grow and develop our company,” Giuliano said. “Throughout his career, Dan Harmon has established himself as a leader who builds strong teams, drives great business results and develops trust with team members and franchisees. We’re incredibly honored to have someone of his caliber join the Playa Bowls team.”

Harmon contributes his professional success to prioritizing franchisee wins, beginning with the end in mind and then purposefully designing a path to greatness.

“I’m thrilled to take on this new opportunity and role. Playa Bowls is a unique brand with a combination of high-quality superfruit menu items, exceptional franchisees and passionate team members,” Harmon said. “There is a tremendous opportunity to grow the brand and mission nationally, and I’m looking forward to working closely with our leadership team and franchisees to make that happen.”

Since its inception in 2014, Playa Bowls has emerged as a leader in the national superfruit bowl shop segment. Today, the brand has 175-plus shops systemwide, operating in 20 states.