Tijuana Flats Burrito Co. has named Brad Kaemmer as CEO of the fast-growing 93-unit Tex-Mex restaurant chain. Kaemmer will assume leadership of the organization next month, reporting to Tijuana Flats Chairman and co-owner J. Camp Fitch.
Following a brief transition period, founder and co-owner Brian Wheeler will shift his focus to the growth of Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen. Wheeler will continue to serve on the Tijuana Flats board of directors and remain involved in strategic decisions impacting the brand. Fitch will work closely with Kaemmer and continue to actively oversee the management and direction of the company.
“Brad is an experienced and energetic leader who we’re excited to have on our team,” said Fitch. “As we add new restaurants in Florida and other states, we’ll continue to seek talent from both inside and outside our company to help us build on the strong performance we’ve achieved.”
“At Tijuana Flats we also strive to get better and come up with new flavors and ideas,” Wheeler said. “I’m excited about the fresh perspectives Brad brings to the table and the proven leadership skills he brings.”
Reporting to Kaemmer will be the heads of the company’s various departments including finance, marketing, human resources, development, purchasing, and training. President Tony Sperrazza, who will continue to be responsible for operations and oversee all area supervisors, will also report to Kaemmer.
Kaemmer most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Boca Restaurant Group, an Ohio-based restaurant group operating high-volume upscale restaurants. Before than he spent more than 10 years at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. As Regional Vice President at P.F. Chang’s he oversaw 59 restaurants across 15 states generating about $270 million in annual sales.
Earlier in his career Kaemmer was vice president of food and beverage for the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. He also held operations posts in San Francisco and Las Vegas with brands including Fog City Diner, Mustard’s, Sfuzzi Italian Bistro and Palm Steakhouse. A graduate of both the University of Las Vegas and the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne in Switzerland, Kaemmer got his start in the business working at his family’s restaurants in Vail, CO.
Established in 1995 in Winter Park, Fla., Tijuana Flats is a unique, fast-casual Tex-Mex dining experience featuring superior guest service and fresh, made-to-order food. Tijuana Flats has 93 locations in Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The restaurants are typically found in high-traffic areas and average 2,200 square feet.
Since the restaurant first opened its doors in 1995, Tijuana Flats has used zero trans-fatty acids (TFA) cooking oils, 100 percent hormone free, white meat chicken, fresh produce and all of its menu items have been lard free. Customers can choose from flour or whole-wheat tortillas for any of their tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chimichangas and flautas. This restaurant also has a popular “Power Lite” selection, which allows customers to choose low-fat cheese and fat-free sour cream in any menu item. There is no charge for selecting a whole-wheat tortilla or Power-Lite.
Known worldwide for their own brand of hot sauces, Tijuana Flats Hot Foods Inc., a separate company, provides the restaurants’ specialty products, hot sauces and condiments, including one of the hottest sauces in the world, Smack My Ass and Call Me Sally…“Going Postal.” For more information about Tijuana Flats, including menu and locations, visit www.tijuanaflats.com.