- Bar Louie, a 70 units gastro bar chain, named Brian Wright as CEO. Wright most recently worked as CEO of the Tex-Mex Tijuana Flats fast food chain and has worked in the hospitality industry for at least 35 years.
- Wright will take charge of the company on September 7, succeeding Tom Fricke, who stepped down in June after nearly five years in the role.
- Wright’s tenure at Tijuana Flats has seen a successful three-year growth spurt, which could help Bar Louie’s growth, profitability and customer experience.
Overview of the dive:
In addition to his tenure at Tijuana Flats, Wright has also held executive positions at Au Bon Pain, Bertucci’s and Einstein Bros Bagels, where he worked in general management, branding, and restaurant and franchise operations. , according to a press release.
Bar Louie is targeting a phase of growth that will be supported by new operations and technology that will facilitate “a modern bar experience,” according to the statement.
The channel is also exploring new offsite opportunities through virtual brands. Bar Louie now offers two virtual concepts, gourmet grilled cheese brand Macs & Stacks and Sweet Lou’s, which sells wings, sandwiches and desserts. This digital strategy emerged when Bar Louie exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020 and honed its business to adapt to pandemic market conditions. During this period, the company also worked for the first time with third-party delivery platforms and strengthened its loyalty offer to take advantage of online traffic. In 2021, the company made $150 million in revenue, according to data from Technomic.