Hard Rock Cafe parts with its president, Stephen Judge

The casual chain has yet to announce his replacement.
Photograph from Shutterstock

Hard Rock Cafes has yet to announce who will fill the vacancy left by the casual dining chain’s split with its president of almost four years, Stephen Judge.

The operation confirmed that Judge was no longer with the company, but declined to provide details of his departure. It also did not respond to questions about who will shoulder Judge’s duties in the wake of his exit.

Judge joined the string of rock ‘n roll-themed restaurants as president in June 2017, following a long run of leading casual brands. Most recently, he had served as CEO and president of Romacorp., the parent of the Tony Roma’s full-service rib chain.

Previously, he was president of Bonefish Grill, Bloomin’ Brands’ casual seafood group, and, earlier, president  of Darden Restaurants’ Seasons 52 polished-casual chain.

He had also logged experience in the hotel industry as VP of food and beverage of MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Hard Rock had 192 locations in 2019, according to the research firm Technomic, all but 40 of them outside of the United States. Its sales that year totaled $816.5 million, Technomic research shows.

The Hard Rock brand is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Trend or fad? These restaurant currents could go either way

Reality Check: A number of ripples were evident in the business during the first half of the year. The question is, do they have staying power?


Starbucks' value offer is a bad idea

The Bottom Line: It’s not entirely clear that price is the reason Starbucks is losing traffic. If it isn’t, the company’s new value offer could backfire.


Struggling I Heart Mac and Cheese franchisees push back against their franchisor

Operators say most of them aren't making money and want a break on their royalties. But they also complain about receiving expired cheese from closed stores. "Don't send us moldy product."


More from our partners