Luby’s Inc., parent to the Luby’s Cafeteria and the Fuddruckers burger brands, has promoted Benjamin “Todd” Coutee as chief operating officer, the company said Wednesday.
The Houston-based company said Coutee, former senior vice president of operations for culinary contract services, succeeds Peter Tropoli, who will assume the role of general counsel.
“Todd has demonstrated outstanding leadership in restaurant operations as well as managing brands and maximizing team performances,” said Chris Pappas, Luby’s president and CEO, in a statement. “His successful style of leadership, passion for people and invaluable knowledge from more than 30 years in the industry provide the vision and management capabilities most needed today for the future of our brand operations.”
Prior to his role in Luby’s culinary services division, Coutee served as senior vice president of operations at Luby’s Cafeterias and Fuddruckers. He started his career at Luby’s in 1989 as an assistant manager, left for leadership positions at Aramark’s Educational Food Service Division and returned to Luby’s in 2006 as an area leader in the cafeteria segment.
In conjunction with the management change, Tropoli will oversee legal and regulatory issues.
“Peter has been a tremendous asset to our company since 2001,” Pappas said. “His restaurant industry knowledge, extensive company experience and deep understanding of real estate, coupled with his expertise in legal, administrative and regulatory matters, will continue to provide significant value to our team.”
As of Aug. 29, Luby's operated 146 restaurants, including 84 cafeterias, 60 Fuddruckers and two Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurants. Luby's franchised 105 Fuddruckers locations domestically and abroad and licensed 36 units in the Middle East. The company’s contract services division managed foodservice at 28 health care, corporate dining and sports stadium sites.
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