Native Foods Café, a plant-based restaurant concept, announced the addition of John Miller, former CFO of Chipotle Mexican Grill and several other fast-casual concepts, to its executive team.

“John is a perfect fit for Native Foods Café, with the know-how, commitment, and care to take us to the next level while practicing our shared values,” says Andrea McGinty, who has owned Native Foods Cafè with business partner and husband Daniel Dolan since 2009. “We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about him.”

The 25-year restaurant industry veteran recently relocated from Colorado to Chicago, where Native Foods Café is headquartered, as part of the fast-casual concept’s expansion plan, which will include the addition of a projected 18 to 24 new locations in myriad new markets in 2014.

“Tasty and healthy fast-casual, plant-based cuisine is a niche that hasn’t yet been capitalized on and one that has national legs,” Miller says. “I expect that Native Foods Café will become as ubiquitous as my former brand, Chipotle.”

During Miller’s tenure at Chipotle, the concept expanded from 12 to 200 locations.

“That a meatless concept has become so popular is astonishing to most, until they dine. Many don’t believe it’s meatless, because we create our recipes with the general palate in mind,” McGinty says. “With our nationwide expansion, we hope 2014 will be a renaissance for healthy, delicious food and that we will surprise even more eaters across the nation.”

Emerging Concepts, Fast Casual, News, Native Foods Cafe