Red Rubin appoints former Torchy’s Tacos president as CEO

Diving Brief:

  • Red Robin has appointed GJ Hart as its President and CEO, effective September 6th, The company announced Thursday. Hart has been on the Red Robin Board of Directors since August 2019 and will continue to be a member of the Board of Directors along with his two new jobs.
  • Hart most recently served as CEO of the fast-paced chain Torchy’s Tacos from 2018 to 2021. Hart announced that he will retire in 2021.
  • Hart will succeed Paul Murphy, Who will retire at the end of the year? upon the expiration of his employment contract. Murphy, who came in as the next CEO Mary Post’s Retirement In 2019, he will remain a special advisor to the company until March 31, 2023.

Diving Insight:

Hart has nearly 35 years of industry experience, many of which have included senior leadership roles as well as contributing to Red Robin’s strategy as a board member.

He will take charge during the recovery period in the chain. As of the first quarter of 2022Restaurant revenue similar to Red Robin was up 19.7% compared to the same quarter last year. In the second quarter of 2020Same-store restaurant revenue fell 41.4%, similarly.

Hart’s successful expansion of the Torchy store’s footprint bodes well for the future of Red Robin. While at the Taco Chain, Hart grew the chain from 45 restaurants to 96 restaurants in 10 states. Twenty-six of these sites opened between 2020 and 2021 despite epidemiological pressure.

Mike Repka, founder of Torchy’s Tacos, said in a statement at the time of Hart’s retirement.

Before that Torchy Taco, Hart served as CEO and CEO of California Pizza Kitchen for seven years, from 2011 to 2018. He served 11 years at Texas Roadhouse, which included four years as president and seven years in additional CEO and board member positions. Hart has also held leadership positions at companies such as AI Copeland Investments, TriFoods International, New Zealand Lamb Company and Shenandoah Valley Poultry Company.

“Over the past three years, GJ has been a thoughtful and effective board member in supporting Paul and the Red Robin team as they go through an exceptionally turbulent period in the history of our industry,” said Dave Pace, Red Robin Chairman. statement. When Hart expressed interest in the role, Pace said the company quickly decided he had the skills to serve as another leader for Red Robin.

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