The first time Bob Baker visited a Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, a customer queue snaked from the front door to the sidewalk — 20 minutes before the restaurant even opened for lunch. “I’d never seen anything like that,” said Baker, then a KFC executive, but now Cafe Rio’s president and chief financial officer. “Customers were excited, and it wasn’t even open yet. When I got inside and had the food, I understood.” The 58-unit fast-casual ...

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