San Diego-based Garden Fresh Restaurants LLC, the parent company to Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes eateries, has appointed Nicole Bushnell as Chief Marketing Officer. Bushnell formerly worked as VP of marketing at Luna Grill restaurants for the last four years, according to a press release.

In her new role, Bushnell, who obtained her B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing from San Francisco State University, will lead all brand and marketing initiatives, including the launch of the company’s first point-of-sale loyalty program, scheduled for later this year.

During Bushnell’s time at Luna Grill, the chain grew from 18 to 51 locations in California and Texas. Prior to her work at Luna Grill, she was VP of Marketing at Ladeki Restaurant Group, head of marketing for Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza and Poppongi Restaurant & Sushi Bar. Before that, from 2004 to 2012, Bushnell was with Pat & Oscar’s Restaurants.

Additionally, John Gigliotti, formerly from Austin Texas-based Chuy’s Opco, Inc., was hired as vice president of Information Technology.

Garden Fresh Restaurants operates 97 restaurants in nine states; the eateries are called Souplantation in Southern California and Sweet Tomatoes elsewhere.

Travel & hospitality reporter Mariel Concepcion can be reached at or 858-634-4625.