Growth Chains: Cafe Rio Mexican Grill

Growth Chains: Cafe Rio Mexican Grill

Fresh cooking, veteran executives help drive 
fast-casual chain’s success

Real cooking is what separates Cafe Rio Mexican Grill from its competition, according to company officials.


Limes are squeezed daily at each restaurant in the 39-unit chain. Cheese is grated fresh. Tortillas are made from scratch throughout the day and served hot off the griddle. And salsas, salad dressings and guacamole are all made in-house.


“People see us in a working kitchen, and there’s an energy,” said Ben Craner, the chief marketing officer of the Salt

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