AJ Baird

As former COO of Southern Rock Restaurants, AJ championed growth initiatives including real estate selection, new product development, menu engineering and operational innovation.

Prior to joining Full Course, Baird was the President and COO of Southern Rock Restaurants, overseeing operations for more than 135 McAlister’s locations across 12 states. At Southern Rock, he also played a key role in site selection for over 50restaurant locations from stand-alone to endcaps to non-traditional spaces in rural, urban and captive markets. As a member of the Culinary Committee, Baird supported the menu engineering process, including the creation and implementation of the pick-up window which ultimately equated to roughly 30% of sales. Additionally, he was instrumental in the product development process which delivered McAlister’s best-selling summer salad. Known for pioneering innovations that drive incrementality, Baird championed off-premise opportunities, like the concession trailer as well as a process to perfect order-ahead and delivery for the predominately dine-in restaurant chain.