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Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc, the parent-owner of the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana brands, has named industry veteran John Todd as its chief development officer.
Todd, who will report to Fiesta Restaurant CEO Tim Taft, will be responsible for all facets of Fiesta’s real estate and development, including site selection, design, and construction of new restaurants and the upgrading and re-imaging of existing facilities. In addition, he will work with Taft on various franchise initiatives.
“The addition of John to this management team demonstrates our commitment to grow these two brands,” Taft says.
“John brings a track record of successfully executing national development strategies and is well prepared to lead this critical part of our business as we accelerate the pace of our development and venture into new market areas. His skill set, work ethic, and enthusiasm make him a perfect fit for our organization and he will bring a new level of real estate and development discipline to Fiesta.
Todd has spent nearly 20 years in real estate and development with RTM Restaurant Group and later its parent company, Arby’s, where he most recently served as that brand’s chief development officer. He has been responsible for market planning and penetration, franchise recruitment and development, construction, real estate acquisition, brand image design, remodels, and capital investment planning.
Taft emphasized that the refined site selection criteria developed for Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana is intended to position both as more general market brands.
“The brands are operating from a position of strength,” he says. “We are experiencing solid comparable store sales gains and we have proven that our concepts translate outside our traditional operating footprint as evidenced by the success of our new Pollo Tropical restaurants in Atlanta and Jacksonville.
“John has a strong reputation for partnering business development with operations and finance to develop productive cross-enterprise alliances. As we move forward with our new development strategy, John will be charged with examining all elements of our development processes so we can maximize profitability and expand both efficiently and strategically.”
“I'm excited to be a part of this dynamic team that is being assembled,” Todd says. “What attracted me to Fiesta was the unique differentiation of these brands and their enormous upside potential. I look forward to being a part of their future.”