Alumnus Adam Jarboe Keeps Chick-fil-A Moo-ving Forward

Thursday, April 02, 2020
Adam Jarboe

As senior lead for equipment with Chick-fil-A, mechanical engineering/engineering management alumnus Adam Jarboe is being cited as a Young Lion Award recipient in Foodservices Equipment Report’s Industry Excellence Awards.

Adam Jarboe is an alumnus who works at Chick-fil-A. He's not serving up the tasty sandwiches, but as a leader providing food service equipment to help feed customers at the company’s growing number of popular restaurants throughout the world.

Previously, the mechanical engineering and engineering management graduate helped develop equipment innovations for Taco Bell and worked to make other entities within the Yum Brands, including KFC, Pizza Hut and WingStreet.

“There are so many ways to make a career in foodservice that I don’t think young people realize,” Jarboe told Foodservice Equipment Reports. “You can work at a fryer manufacturer and be an engineer, or be in marketing or human resources. There are so many opportunities.”

Jarboe’s work as senior lead for equipment with Chick-fil-A is being cited with a 2020 Young Lion Award in FER’s annual Industry Excellence Awards. The honor recognizes individuals under the age of 40 who have made a meaningful impact on the food service equipment industry.

In his current role, Jarboe has developed deep personal and professional relationships with dealers and manufacturers across the world—building upon lessons he learned as a Rose-Hulman student. He schedules quarterly meetings to proactively address potential issues.

Mitch Welch, senior vice president of national accounts for TriMark Strategic, told FER, “As our relationship manager with Chick-fil-A, Adam does a fantastic job and helps both sides communicate better...We have a partnership unlike any other we have with other chains. So much in business is transactional, but what we have really is a partnership.”

Jarboe worked with existing and new suppliers to open three new international Chick-fil-A restaurants in Canada, England, and Scotland within 30 days. The chain was planning to open more international stores this year and several others in 2021.

“I love supporting our international plans and play a role on a very diverse team responsible for hiring, training, what goes on the menu and more,” he says. “Our stores do such a high volume of business, the increasing demand we put on our equipment is unlike anywhere else. We continually challenge our suppliers to improve their quality and reliability.”

Jarboe joined Chick-fil-A in April 2016 after being manager of restaurant transformation with Taco Bell for a year and a half. He helped test innovative grilling and warming equipment as well as identifying equipment and food processing solutions to reduce order fulfillment time at stories across the country. He previously spent six years (2008-2014) bringing sustainability practices into new restaurants managed through the Yum Brands.

Jarboe earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Rose-Hulman in 2005 and remained on campus to add a master’s degree in engineering management two years later. He earned the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award in 2014.