Real Mex Restaurants, parent of the El Torito, Acapulco and Chevys Fresh Mex restaurant chains, has named Charles ‘Charly’ Robinson as its new president and chief executive officer, the company said Wednesday.
Robinson replaces interim CEO Christopher R. Thomas, who served in the position since former chief executive David Goronkin stepped down in May 2012. He will also serve on the Mexican casual-dining operator’s board of directors.
Robinson is a veteran of the restaurant industry and most recently served as executive vice president of food and beverage at Warner Hospitality. Prior to that he was president and chief operating officer of Orlando-based E-Brands Restaurants, which owns Timpano Italian Chophouses and Taqueria Canonita, among others. Robinson has also held the positions of senior vice president of operations at Planet Hollywood and senior vice president of operations at Rainforest Café.
“Charly’s proven leadership abilities and business acumen are exactly what we need to further boost the performance improvements underway,” Mark Holdsworth, chairman of Real Mex and managing partner of Tennenbaum Capital Partners, one of the company’s owners, said in a statement. “His decades of experience operating restaurants, including several Mexican brands, will be invaluable as we move forward.”
In his new role, Robinson is charged with leading turnaround efforts that have been ongoing since the company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in 2011.
“This is an exciting challenge and I look forward to helping Real Mex realize its full potential,” Robinson said in a statement. “We have the most recognized brands in Mexican full-serve dining and a loyal guest base, which provides a solid platform for future growth.”
Cypress, Calif.-based Real Mex Restaurants operates 125 company-owned and 15 franchised full-service restaurants under the El Torito, Acapulco, Chevys Fresh Mex, El Torito Grill, Las Brisas, Sinigual, Who Song and Larry’s brands. It is owned by Los Angeles-based investment management firm Tennenbaum Capital Partners and Chicago-based private-equity firm Z Capital Partners.
Contact Charlie Duerr at firstname.lastname@example.org.