30-Year Restaurant Industry Veteran Ward Whitworth Set to Take Helm of World’s Largest Casual Dining Mexican Concept; OTB CEO Steve Clark Announces Retirement
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, the world’s largest casual dining Mexican concept, which was recently acquired by Border Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Argonne Capital Group, today announced the appointment of Ward Whitworth as President of On The Border.
The move follows the resignation of On The Border Chief Executive Officer Steve Clark, who has committed to Argonne Capital Group to stay on for a period of time in order to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership.
“My goal four years ago was to transition OTB to stand-alone status, return the brand to category leadership and create new restaurant growth,” said Clark, who has led several leading brands over his 40 years in the restaurant industry. “Great progress has been made in these areas and my experience with On The Border has been wonderful.”
Incoming OTB President Ward was most recently President of ACG, the nation’s largest IHOP franchisee, based in Texas. Previously, he spent a number of years with YUM Brands running several large markets. In addition, Ward was Vice President of Franchise for Pizza Hut, with responsibility for 2,700 restaurants.
Throughout his career, Ward has relied on a strong recognition culture, great operations discipline and a clear vision for success, allowing his teams and business results to flourish.
“On The Border is a world-class brand and I embrace the opportunity to lead the organization,” said Whitworth. “We are ready for our next chapter of growth and I am confident this unique brand under new ownership and leadership will continue to thrive in the coming years.”
Argonne Capital Group is a private investment firm focused on investments in the multi-unit restaurant, retail and service industries, where the firm targets between $25 – $75 million of equity per transaction. Argonne also has a significant presence in multi-tenant retail real estate through its RCG Ventures platform. In aggregate, Argonne and its affiliates have over $700 million of equity under management.
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is a leading full-service restaurant and the world’s largest casual dining chain that offers an extensive menu of great-tasting, classic and contemporary Mexican food, like sizzling mesquite-grilled fajitas, and Margaritas as big and bold as the border itself. On The Border is owned by Border Holdings, LLC, with 155 restaurants in 36 states, Puerto Rico, Asia and the Middle East. Follow and ‘like’ On The Border on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OnTheBorderMexicanGrillandCantina, and @OnTheBorder on Twitter. For more information, visit www.ontheborder.com.