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Velvet Taco names Allyn Taylor chief development officer kellywilliamsphotography

Velvet Taco names Allyn Taylor chief development officer

Taylor joins fast-casual concept from Zoe’s Kitchen

Velvet Taco, the expanding fast-casual concept owned by private-equity firm L Catterton and Front Burner Restaurants LP, has named Allyn Taylor to the new position of chief development officer, the company said Tuesday.

Taylor will lead real estate development for Dallas-based Velvet Taco, which has seven locations. He most recently served in the same role at the Plano, Texas-based Mediterranean fast-casual operator Zoe’s Kitchen Inc.

“With over 20 years of senior leadership experience, Allyn will add tremendous value to our team,” said Clay Dover, Velvet Taco president, in a statement. “His extensive background in driving development strategy will be key in expanding our brand across the country. The timing couldn’t be better and we welcome Allyn to the team.”

Prior to Zoe’s Kitchen, Taylor served in development roles at Panera Bread, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Pappas Restaurants, Ruby Tuesday and Brinker International Inc.

“It’s an exciting time join the Velvet Taco team,” Taylor said. “They have incredible plans for continued growth and development, I look forward to being part of this amazing brand.” 

Velvet Taco has seven restaurants in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago and Houston, and plans to open three more of the globally-inspired taco restaurants this year. 

Velvet Taco, which was named a 2016 Nation’s Restaurant News Hot Concept, received a “significant strategic growth investment” in September 2016, when it had four units, from Greenwich, Conn.-based private-equity firm L Catterton.

A company spokesperson said L Catterton holds a majority interest in Velvet Taco, which debuted in Dallas in 2011.

In addition to Velvet Taco, Front Burner’s portfolio includes Twin Peaks, Ida Claire, Mexican Sugar, The Ranch at Las Colinas, Whiskey Cake and Sixty Vines, as well as the Legacy Hall dining and entertainment district in Plano, Texas.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter at @RonRuggless


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