Tiki Taco, Kansas City’s beloved home for chef-crafted tacos and good vibes, announced the appointment of Eric Knott as its new Chief Executive Officer. This exciting development marks a significant milestone for Tiki Taco as it continues to expand its footprint and enhance its culinary offerings. Knott brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success in the restaurant industry, most recently as Chief Operating Officer for Florida-based award-winning fast casual brand PDQ.

“We are thrilled to welcome Eric to the Tiki Taco family,” says Lindsey Wade, Tiki Taco Owner. “His established reputation and impressive achievements in operations and leadership will be instrumental in guiding Tiki Taco through our next phase of growth.”

Knott has had a distinguished career in the food service category and is thrilled to take the next step in his journey with the incredible team at Tiki Taco. At PDQ, Knott oversaw all operational aspects and played a key role in the brand’s expansion, successfully leading the team for more than 40 new store openings. Prior to that, he held leadership positions at Outback Steakhouse, where he was recognized for his operational excellence, rising through the ranks from Kitchen Manager to a Managing Partner, and earning awards like Corporate Tech of the Year and Board of Directors winner.

“I am honored to join Tiki Taco at such an exciting time,” adds Knott. “The brand has a unique identity, a passionate team, and a loyal following. I look forward to working with everyone to build upon this foundation and further elevate the Tiki Taco experience, focusing on what truly matters: exceptional quality, a commitment to our team, and creating memorable moments for our customers.”

Tiki Taco’s ownership group, led by Judy Rush, a pioneer in advertising media, and The Wade Brothers, Lyndon and Lindsey, are directors and photographers working globally who have collaborated with brands like Nike, Google, Adidas, and Bacardi. Together, they have successfully run many businesses in Kansas City over the past 25 years, and they leveraged their creative spirit and business acumen to transform Tiki Taco upon taking over the brand.

“Our commitment to quality is reflected in our team members and the customer experience,” says Lyndon Wade, Tiki Taco Owner. “Fostering a work environment that values inclusivity and empowers our people is paramount to the success of the brand.”

In his new role as CEO, Knott will focus on expanding Tiki Taco’s presence in Kansas City and beyond, while continuing to innovate and elevate the menu offerings. Tiki Taco has a commitment to quality that extends to everything, and that core value include responsibly sourced ingredients and chef-crafted recipes, a philosophy that has been a cornerstone of Tiki Taco since its inception.

“Our incredible team and loyal customers are the heart of our success,” said partner Jason Kinslow. “People come together to enjoy delicious food and good vibes, but we strive to foster a sense of connection that keeps them coming back for more. This loyalty and enthusiasm fuel our commitment to continuous improvement and exceeding expectations.”

A focus on menu innovation, with Knott’s proven track record of success in this area, will ensure Tiki Taco remains at the forefront of culinary creations. Technological advancements to enhance the customer experience and forging strong partnerships with local food purveyors are at the forefront of Tiki Taco’s plans. Beyond culinary excellence, Tiki Taco aspires to make a positive impact on the communities it serves, supporting local initiatives and promoting sustainability practices.

“The future of Tiki Taco is bright,” says partner Rich Wiles. “We plan to expand our presence throughout Kansas City and its surrounding communities, while staying true to our core values.”

Emerging Concepts, Employee Management, Fast Casual, News