Multi-concept operator Fiesta Restaurant Group made several leadership changes and decided to suspend efforts to sell the company, which owns and operates fast-casual restaurant chains Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana.
Richard Stockinger was named chief executive officer of Fiesta Restaurant Group. Fiesta also promoted Danny Meisenheimer to chief operating officer and senior vice president. Meisenheimer served as interim CEO of Fiesta since September 2016, and chief operating officer and vice president of Pollo Tropical since 2013.
Stockinger served as president and chief executive officer of Benihana Inc. from 2009 to 2014. Prior to joining Benihana, he spent more than two decades at The Patina Restaurant Group LLC and its predecessor Restaurant Associates Inc., during which time he served in various senior executive capacities, including as president from 2003 to 2008. Most recently, Stockinger was a consultant of Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., a private equity firm, and Not Your Average Joes, a private restaurant company.
In addition, Stacey Rauch was appointed non-executive chairman and Paul Twohig non-executive member of the board of directors. Rauch’s background includes working with McKinsey & Company, while Twohig’s resume includes stints with Dunkin’ Brands, Starbucks and Panera Bread Co.
For the past four months, Fiesta has explored a range of strategic alternatives for the company. In light of the fact that no organization presented a final proposal to acquire Fiesta, the company elected to suspend the sales process and spinning off Taco Cabana, per a release announcing these developments.
In 2017, Fiesta expects to open 12 new company-owned Pollo Tropical restaurants in Florida and 10 new Taco Cabana restaurants in Texas. Also during 2017, the company plans to remodel approximately 20 Pollo Tropical restaurants in south Florida.