Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, the #1 rated fast casual Mexican Restaurant (Sandelman & Associates) in the country is pleased to announce that Steve Vaughan has joined the company as President and Chief Financial Officer. After 23 years at Sonic, Steve (starting July 1, 2015) will join Cafe Rio to work shoulder to shoulder with the Executive Team and oversee the growth of Cafe Rio as it continues to bring high quality, made from scratch Mexican food across the nation. Currently Cafe Rio owns and operates 80 restaurants in 11 states.
Vaughan joins Cafe Rio after a long and successful career at Sonic Corp., franchisor and operator of the Sonic Drive-in chain, with more than 23 years’ experience in senior financial, operating, market strategy and investor relations functions. Vaughan was most recently Executive Vice President of Franchise Operations, Finance and Planning at Sonic. During his tenure, the Sonic system grew from $850 million in system sales to more than $4.2 billion.
“After meeting Steve and getting his thoughts on the restaurant business, I quickly realized his passion for people development, leadership and operations excellence were in direct alignment with our core philosophies here at Cafe Rio,” said Dave Gagnon CEO. “He has an amazing track record of great results in a growth environment. We are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his talents to bear on our business and help us achieve our short and long term goals.”
“Cafe Rio’s focus on quality ingredients, made from scratch meals and energetic dining atmosphere continues to be a recipe of success,” states Vaughan. “I am very excited about joining the Cafe Rio team and utilizing the experience I’ve gained at Sonic to help facilitate their growth plans.”
Cafe Rio recently was awarded the #1 Mexican Restaurant in the Nation (2014) by the coveted Sandelman & Associates’ Quick-Track® Award and first time winner of the Nation’s Restaurant News Breakout Brands 2014. The restaurant continues to receive top honors and praises from customers and industry experts for their custom made meals, having received hundreds of awards to date.
Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, Inc., headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, has been serving its loyal customers fresh Mexican food since 1997. Their menu is inspired by the traditional Mexican cooking found in the Rio Grande region of Northern Mexico, Southern Texas, and New Mexico. Cafe Rio specializes in serving its customers the highest-quality, made from scratch Mexican meals, using only the freshest ingredients.