The parent to the growing Umami Burger chain has named former Burger King president Paul Clayton chief executive.

Clayton replaces Adam Fleischman, founder and chair of the Los Angeles-based Umami Restaurant Group LLC, who stepped down as CEO earlier this year to build another restaurant company, AdVantage Restaurant Partners, which launched the ChocoChicken brand last month.

Fleischman said in a statement that Clayton “has the vision, expertise and instincts to grow Umami Burger into one of the most creative and forward-thinking restaurant groups in the world.”

Clayton was most recently president of Meineke Car Care Centers, which has more than 900 locations. Prior to Meineke, he had a long career in the foodservice industry, logging time as president of Burger King North America, as well as CEO of the Jamba Juice smoothie chain.

Since it was founded in 2009 in Los Angeles, Umami Burger has grown to 22 units across the country. The chain expects to add units in Irvine, Calif.; Chicago; Las Vegas; and Brooklyn, N.Y., later this year.

Umami Restaurant Group also co-owns the 800 Degrees fast-casual pizza concept.

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com.
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