Carin Stutz Named CEO of Native Foods

The former executive vice president and COO of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews is now CEO of vegan fast-casual chain Native Foods, the company announced Tuesday.

Carin Stutz will be charged with growing the 13-unit plant-based concept.

“I look forward to helping the Native Foods team grow,” Stutz said in a statement. “This unique brand is one of the true innovators in the area of creating plant-based food choices.”

Most recently, Stutz oversaw 560 Red Robin units across the United States and Canada. Stutz, who joined Red Robin as COO in 2016, was replaced by the chain’s CFO last year after weak sales were blamed on a number of operational issues at the casual-dining brand.

Stutz has also been president of McCalister’s Deli and president of global business development for Brinker International, leading franchise development for more than 200 Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy stores around the world. She has also held executive posts at Applebee’s International and with Wendy’s International, in addition to serving as a past chairwoman of the Women’s Foodservice Forum.

Founded in 1994, Chicago-based Native Foods currently has locations in California, Oregon, Colorado and Chicago. Last year, private-equity firm Millstone Capital Advisors acquired the chain for an undisclosed amount.

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