Earlier this month, Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent company of Taco Cabana, named Todd Coerver chief operating officer for Taco Cabana, effective January 2013.
Coerver, who joined Taco Cabana in 2009 as chief brand officer, succeeds retiring Mike Biviano, who served as COO and executive vice president of the company.
Before joining Taco Cabana, Coerver served as vice president of marketing & innovation for Whataburger. During his 15-year tenure at the iconic regional burger chain, he also held leadership positions in operations services, training, and communications that produced 52 consecutive quarters of same-store sales increases.
Prior to that, he was in account management on the Smirnoff Vodka and Rolling Rock Beer promotional accounts at The Marketing Continuum, a Dallas-based agency.
“Todd’s skill-set lends itself perfectly to the needs of Taco Cabana today,” says Tim Taft, president and CEO of Fiesta Restaurant Group. “He and his team will be focused on the continued evolution and growth of the brand, and I have total confidence in his leadership abilities”.
Coerver says, “We have been working hard the last few years to position Taco Cabana for the future, and I’m excited about where we are. We have a well-defined and differentiated brand strategy, as well as an appealing value proposition.
With our system-wide remodeling efforts wrapping up in 2013 and our continued focus on operational excellence, this company and dedicated team are well positioned for growth,” he adds.
Taco Cabana, known for its Mexican patio cafe environment and true flavors of Mexico-inspired menu, also announced that two members of its leadership team were promoted to key roles within the company.
Mark Phillips was promoted to vice president of operations, and Gerardo Arce was named vice president of finance.
With more than 30 years of restaurant experience, Phillips joined Taco Cabana in 1995 as a regional vice president.
Prior to joining the company, he served as director of operations services for AFC Enterprises, the parent company of Church’s Chicken and Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits.
Phillips’ restaurant experience began in 1979 with a Burger King franchise in Knoxville, Tennesee. He later joined the Burger King Corporation in 1982, where he gained experience in restaurant management, domestic and international operations training management, company district management, and franchise operations management.
Arce joined Taco Cabana in February 2008 as director of finance. Before joining the company, he served as the director of accounting and financial planning and analysis for Masco Contractor Services based in Daytona Beach, Florida.
While at Masco, Arce oversaw mergers and acquisitions, operational reporting and analysis, financial process improvements, and the annual budget and monthly forecast process.
Prior to Masco, he was the assistant controller for Cardinal Health, a pharmaceutical distribution company based out of Dublin, Ohio.
“If you look at their track record, it’s clear why we decided to promote Mark and Gerardo from within,” Coerver says. “They both bring experience, talent, and passion for our brand. We’ve architected this leadership team to reflect our balanced approach to the business, ensuring every move is brand-right, operationally reasonable, and fiscally responsible. As we continue to grow and evolve, I’m thrilled to have these partners as we guide this company and brand to the next level.”