Seattle-based restaurant group welcomes retail and hospitality veteran as chief executive officer
Restaurants Unlimited, Inc. (RUI), a Seattle-based restaurant group, is pleased to announce Jim Eschweiler as its new president and CEO. With more than 20 years of experience in accounting, finance and strategy at high-growth retail and hospitality companies, Eschweiler will be responsible for developing long-term strategies and growth opportunities in his new position as the Restaurants Unlimited CEO.
Eschweiler joined Restaurants Unlimited in April 2014 as chief financial officer, and under his leadership, streamlined and improved processes while managing the financial strategy for the company’s 22 restaurant brands spanning 47 establishments throughout 11 states. His promotion and appointment to president and CEO was made by RUI parent company Sun Capital Partners, Inc. following a four-month review period.
“Jim came to Restaurants Unlimited with a very impressive background having worked at many well-respected national and international companies,” said M. Steven Liff, senior managing director of Sun Capital Partners. “In the 15 months he has been with us, Jim has provided focus and vision to the organization. He was a natural choice as chief executive officer and is poised to take RUI to the next level in his new leadership role.”
Prior to Restaurants Unlimited, Eschweiler served as chief financial officer for fashion retailer Aritzia LP, which boasts more than 50 stores in the U.S. and Canada. Eschweiler originally began his career as a certified public accountant with Arthur Andersen LLP and went on to spend 12 years with Starbucks Coffee Company, including seven years in the international group as vice president of finance based in Seattle and Hong Kong. Following Starbucks, he spent four years as the chief financial officer of Distant Lands Coffee, helping to integrate two diverse businesses which custom developed coffee programs for Panera, McDonalds and several major grocery chains while also operating coffee farms and mills in Costa Rica.
“With my background in retail, accounting and the food industry, my focus for RUI will be concentrated on providing our restaurants, who are the true heroes, the tools and financial discipline for continued growth year over year,” commented Eschweiler.
Eschweiler hails from Milwaukee and holds a Master of Business Administration in finance from the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Marquette University. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, skiing and spending time with family.
Since opening its first restaurant in 1969, Restaurants Unlimited, Inc. (RUI) has brought its talent for bringing the finest food to some of the best possible locations across the nation. RUI operates 22 different restaurant brands in 47 locations throughout the U.S. Unique concepts include Portland City Grill, Manzana Grill, Palisade, Cutters Crabhouse and Skates on the Bay. Multi-unit brands include Stanford’s, Henry’s Tavern, Kincaid’s, Palomino Restaurant & Bar and Portland Seafood Company. The restaurants are located in 11 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. RUI is headquartered in Seattle and owned by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners. Additional details are available at www.restaurantsunlimited.com.