Former Taco Cabana COO takes reins as emerging burger chain prepares for growth
Denver, CO (RestaurantNews.com) Larkburger has tapped Todd Coerver, formerly of Taco Cabana, to lead the Denver-based fine fast-casual burger chain as it looks to round out its infrastructure and accelerate its growth. He most recently served as Chief Operating Officer for Taco Cabana, a 171-unit fast casual chain specializing in handmade Mexican cuisine. Coerver succeeds Adam Baker as CEO, who resigned from the company in June of this year and remained CEO during the interim period. In addition, Ned Grace, Larkburger Board Member and founder of The Capital Grille, will serve as the company’s new Chairman of the Board.
Baker’s vision and leadership over the past 10 years set the stage for next phase of growth. He led the Larkburger brand from the first restaurant opened in Edwards, Colorado in 2006 to 12 locations throughout Colorado, laying the foundation for expansion into Kansas early in 2017. He has developed a strong team, refined the brand and business model in preparation for accelerated growth.
“Todd’s leadership qualities and broad functional expertise in a large chain environment are what we’ve been looking for to lead the next phase of growth at Larkburger,” said Aaron Kennedy, Larkburger Board Member and founder of Noodles & Company. “His passion for building and leading teams, along with his proven track record in growing restaurant brands will make an immediate and positive impact on the company.”
Coerver joined Taco Cabana seven years ago as Chief Brand Officer before being promoted in 2012 to the lead Operations role. Prior, he led Marketing and Innovation at Whataburger.
“Larkburger is a uniquely positioned brand with a compelling menu and healthy unit-level economics. It has the support of a smart, impassioned board, leadership team and workforce. And it enjoys a fanatical customer following,” said Coerver. “It’s everything you look for in an opportunity and I’m excited to join the team and get started.”
Larkburger was founded in 2006 by Chef Thomas Salamunovich, Nancy Sweeney, and Adam Baker. The chef-driven burger concept was invented when the award-winning menu item at Vail’s fine-dining Larkspur Restaurant sparked a passion for the burgeoning burger business. Larkburger sources fresh and all natural ingredients, free of additives and preservatives. Classic culinary techniques are used to transform premium ingredients into savory and craveable cuisine. Larkburger has 12 restaurants in Colorado and opens its next location in Overland Park, Kansas, in January 2017.