Margaritas Mexican Restaurant Names Hugo Marin as New President

Restaurant Industry Veteran to Help Grow Popular Mexican Dining Spot through Franchising

September 12, 2011 // Franchising.com // Portsmouth, NH - Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, the 23-unit New England restaurant chain, has named accomplished restaurant executive Hugo Marin as the company's new president - a move that will help grow the brand through a focus on franchising. Marin has an extensive background and knowledge in the restaurant industry, combined with strong organizational expertise and leadership.

Marin, a resident of Rye, NH, most recently served as Chief Operations Officer with Al Copeland Investments, a Louisiana-based restaurant group with 15 company-owned and 11 franchised restaurants under the names Copeland's, Copeland's Express, and Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland's. Before that, Marin served as Vice President of Operations for Ted's Montana Grill for three years, and in various management positions at The Cheesecake Factory, Romano's Macaroni Grill and other restaurant brands.

During his tenure with Ted's Montana Grill, Marin oversaw site selection and the opening of six new restaurants. While working for Al Copeland Investments, Marin continued to build the franchise base and recently finalized a deal with an international group for 20 locations in the next four years.

In his new position at Margaritas, a chain known for its remix of Mexican flavors and Mexican-style décor, Marin will focus on continuing to expand the brand through franchising. In addition to his restaurant expertise, Marin also lived overseas and is fluent in Spanish. His food service career started at Alfredo's Mexican Restaurants, a six-unit, family-owned chain.

"I've enjoyed being a customer of Margaritas for the past 14 years with my family, and I have watched the restaurant's growth from a guest's perspective. There's something about Margaritas that's always drawn my family back," said Marin. "Now being part of the team, I'm looking forward to sharing the Margaritas experience with more consumers by expanding the franchise community and enhancing our core concept."

Margaritas has outpaced competitors in the casual dining segment, demonstrating solid unit-level economics, with an EBITDAR of 23.5%, a beverage to gross sales ratio of 45.5% and profitability which places the business into the top tier among its peers. A strategic site-location process also contributes to their success. The company opened their first franchised location in Livingston, NJ in June.

"We're looking forward to working with Hugo to take Margaritas to the next level. We're confident that with his solid organizational and leadership expertise, combined with his industry knowledge and restaurant operations background, he'll help create systems which will enable us to grow and expand the brand," said John Pelletier, Founder of Margaritas.

About Margaritas Mexican Restaurants

Founded in 1986 by John Pelletier, Margaritas Mexican Restaurants has 23 locations throughout Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Connecticut. >From colorful authentic décor to a commitment to community relations through field trips and visiting artist demonstrations, Margaritas provides an atmosphere rich with the culture and flavors of Mexico, offering guests a fun dining adventure in a festive gallery of Mexican art. Margaritas Mexican Restaurants have earned numerous awards and honors, including being named the best Mexican restaurant in both New Hampshire and Connecticut. For more information on Margaritas, visit www.margs.com.

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