- Taco John’s CEO Jim Creel will retire at the end of the year, the company said Tuesday in a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive.
- Creel, who has been with the brand for over two decades, was CEO for six years, the company said.
- The board expects to announce a new CEO for Taco John’s in the coming months.
Creel originally joined the QSR chain in 2000 as director of technology and was promoted to CFO in 2009. He became CEO in 2017. During his time as CEO, the company increased its average unit volumes by 22% and system sales grew to over $424 million, increasing nearly 17% over the past six years, according to the press release.
The company, which originated as a single taco stand in Cheyenne, Wyoming, has since grown to roughly 400 units across 23 states. Taco John’s didn’t slow down during the pandemic, opening 37 restaurants since 2020 and entering new markets, including Nashville, Boston, Cincinnati and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Creel was also helped the company open a test kitchen and support center in Minneapolis, and played a role in the company's development of its app and loyalty program.
Taco John’s made headlines in May when Taco Bell filed a petition to cancel Taco John’s trademark of Taco Tuesday, which it has held since 1989. In the week following Taco Bell’s move, the company reported over 1 billion in media impressions globally, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Taco John’s also saw same-store sales jump and a 25% increase in app downloads.