Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., the owner, operator, and franchisor of the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana fast-casual restaurant brands, announced today that Lynn Schweinfurth has joined the company as vice president and chief financial officer, effective July 16, 2012. With her appointment, Fiesta has now completed building its senior management team.

Schweinfurth is a highly respected corporate officer with more than 20 years of progressive, senior-level financial management and leadership experience, primarily in restaurant and retail businesses, including Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., Brinker International, Inc., PepsiCo, Inc. and its restaurant-company spin-off, Yum! Brands, Inc.

She earned an MBA from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California-Los Angeles.

Since 2010, Schweinfurth served as vice president of finance and treasurer at Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. In this role, she led strategic planning and business analysis, treasury, and investor relations. Before joining Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., Schweinfurth led the finance function at Lone Star Steakhouse, Texas Land & Cattle, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, and the international division of Brinker International, Inc.

During her nine years at PepsiCo, Inc. and Yum! Brands, Inc., she held various domestic and international roles in areas including planning and analysis, mergers and acquisitions, franchise finance, and investor relations.

“We are delighted to welcome Lynn to Fiesta as our CFO,” says Tim Taft, chief executive officer and president of Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc.

“Lynn is an extraordinary talent, who has broad-based financial leadership experience with major restaurant and retail brands, including global, franchise and company-owned restaurant portfolio companies. In addition to her technical and leadership skills, we believe she will be a great cultural fit for Fiesta. We are confident that she can add significant value as we execute on our strategic plans.”

“I am thrilled to join Fiesta at this early stage in its corporate history as an independent publicly traded company and believe the Company is poised for significant, long term, profitable growth,” Schweinfurth says. “I look forward to working alongside the management team and the board of directors to leverage our two exceptional brands and drive industry leading performance within the fast-casual industry, creating long-term value for our shareholders.”

Employee Management, News, Pollo Tropical, Taco Cabana