Fuzzy's Taco Shop Names Former Casual Dining Executive David Catalano COO

David Catalano |   Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

David Catalano | Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

The Texas-based fast casual concept Fuzzy's Taco Shop announced late last week that it has named a new Chief Operating Officer.

David Catalano, a former casual dining executive, will be joining the chain's leadership team as the company continues it's massive expansion plans.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop has 144 restaurants in 12 states with an additional 17 stores currently in the development.

"I'm excited to join a company that is already doing so many things right," said Catalano in a press release. "I've been a fan of the brand for a long time and look forward to using my restaurant and hospitality experience to further the Fuzzy's Taco Shop success story."

Catalano has had a long career in the casual dining segment of the industry. He held management roles at Hard Rock Café and TGI Friday's. But his first-hand experience as a franchisee will be especially valuable in his new role as COO at Fuzzy's, he was the first franchisee of Twin Peaks.

"David is an industry pro, having worked on both emerging restaurant concepts and established brands," said Mel Knight, President of Fuzzy's Taco Shop in a press release. "He has also worked on the franchisee side of the table, making him the right person to work alongside our phenomenal franchise partners."

This year, Fuzzy's Taco Shop is celebrating its 17th anniversary.

The restaurant offers a broad menu with Mexican favorites– including Baja-style tacos, burritos, salads, nachos, quesadillas, and chips and queso. On October 4th, the chain has a limited-time-offer of $1 per taco to celebrate National Taco Day.

With so much potential in the fast casual space, Catalano joins the many casual dining giants and former executives that have transitioned to this fast-growing segment.

We have been tracking the casual dining’s decline for years. Many chains in this segment no longer seem to resonate with millennials. Watch the video below to see how legacy brands like Applebees and Chili's are seeing less foot traffic.