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Cafe Rio Mexican Grill announced that Steve Vaughan has joined the company as president and CFO. After 23 years at Sonic, Vaughan will join Cafe Rio July 1 to work shoulder to shoulder with the executive team and oversee the growth of Cafe Rio as it continues to bring high quality, made-from-scratch Mexican food across the nation. Currently Cafe Rio owns and operates 80 restaurants in 11 states.
Vaughan joins Cafe Rio after a long and successful career at Sonic Corporation, franchisor and operator of the Sonic Drive-in chain, with more than 23 years of experience in senior financial, operating, market strategy, and investor relations. Vaughan was most recently executive vice president of franchise operations, finance, and planning at Sonic. During his tenure, the Sonic system grew from $850 million in system sales to more than $4.2 billion.
“After meeting Steve and getting his thoughts on the restaurant business, I quickly realized his passion for people development, leadership, and operations excellence were in direct alignment with our core philosophies here at Cafe Rio,” says CEO Dave Gagnon. “He has an amazing track record of great results in a growth environment. We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his talents to bear on our business and help us achieve our short and long term goals.”
“Cafe Rio’s focus on quality ingredients, made-from-scratch meals and energetic dining atmosphere continues to be a recipe of success,” Vaughan says. “I am very excited about joining the Cafe Rio team and utilizing the experience I’ve gained at Sonic to help facilitate their growth plans.”