On the Border names Matt Hood CEO Ron Ruggless

On the Border names Matt Hood CEO

Industry veteran tapped to lead Mexican grill brand

On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina has named Matt Hood (left) as president and CEO, the company announced Wednesday.

The Dallas-based casual-dining brand said Hood, who most recently as served as chief marketing officer at Irvine, Calif.-based Habit Restaurants Inc., succeeds Ward Whitworth, who had served as CEO since July 2014 and left in March. 

“Matt Hood is a proven performer when it comes to moving brands forward,” said Michael Klump, founder and president of Argonne Capital Group, which owns On the Border and other restaurant brands. “We are excited to add his strategic and disciplined leadership to capitalize on the opportunities before us.”

Prior to leading marketing at Habit Burger Grill, served as chief marketing officer at BJ’s Restaurants Inc. and as senior vice president of marketing and brand development at Carino’s Italian Grill.

Hood started his restaurant career at Brinker International Inc. at the time it acquired On the Border in 1994. Brinker sold the brand to Golden Gate Capital in 2010, and Argonne acquired it in May 2014.

“I am very excited about the future of On the Border,” Hood said in a statement. “This is a world-class brand with a unique position in the casual-dining industry thanks to its vibrant experience, its attractive off-premise offering and a strong licensing presence.”

On the Border has 158 restaurants in 32 states, Puerto Rico and Asia.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

Correction: April 04, 2018
This story has been edited to correct On the Border sale dates and owners.
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