Willie’s Restaurants, the group that operates Willie’s Grill & Icehouse and Fajita Willie’s Cafe and Cantina, today announced that Gregory Lippert has been appointed as president and chief executive officer of the Houston-based restaurant group.
Lippert is a visionary leader that brings more than 30 years of experience as CEO, COO, and CMO of national and regional restaurant brands to his new position at Willie’s. His career includes extensive experience in taking brands to critical mass in addition to prototype development. He also takes pride in serving on national and state restaurant and community volunteer-based boards.
Prior to joining Willie’s Restaurants, Lippert served as CEO of Taco Mac, which resulted in the brand’s successful sale to Fresh Hospitality. He was also CEO of Quaker Steak & Lube where he reversed negative sales trends in just seven months and lead the acquisition by Travel Centers of America. Before Quaker Steak & Lube, Lippert directed 155 Mazzio’s, Zio’s Italian Kitchen, and Oliveto restaurants with 2,900 employees in eight states as CEO of Mazzio’s Corporation. Earlier in his career, Lippert held brand and marketing positions of increasing responsibility at Fazoli’s, the Seven-Up Company, and Procter & Gamble.
“I’m thrilled to join Willie’s Restaurants and I’m eager to work with the entire Willie’s team to grow the business,” Lippert says. “Willie’s Restaurants is an iconic brand where we will accelerate the growth of both concepts. I look forward to leveraging my experience to expand these restaurants in the state of Texas.”
Lippert earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from DePauw University with continuing education from the University of Cincinnati.
Founded in 1982, Willie’s Restaurants operates original concepts in the Houston and San Antonio area. In addition to Willie’s Grill & Icehouse, Willie’s Restaurants operate two Fajita Willie’s Cafe & Cantina locations in the Houston area specializing in Tex-Mex fare.
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