Taco John’s Appoints Heather Neary as CEO, Aiming for Growth

by Nick

Taco John’s, the popular Mexican fast-food chain, announced Heather Neary as its new CEO on Wednesday, succeeding Jim Creel, who retired last year. With a wealth of industry experience, Neary is poised to lead Taco John’s into a new phase of expansion and success.

Having spent 15 years at Auntie Anne’s, culminating in her role as brand president, Neary brings a strategic vision and a proven track record of driving growth to her new position. Her appointment signals a commitment to ushering in a “new era of growth” for Taco John’s, headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyoming.


Gerard Lewis, Chairman of the Board, expressed confidence in Neary, citing her energy and previous achievements in enhancing customer experience metrics and brand presence. Neary’s most recent role as brand president at KBP Brands, a franchisee with over 800 quick-service restaurants, further solidifies her credentials.


During her tenure at Auntie Anne’s, Neary played a pivotal role in growing gross sales to over $550 million. She prioritized operational efficiency and fostered a collaborative, people-first culture, aligning with Taco John’s values.


Active in industry associations, Neary’s leadership extends beyond her professional roles, with involvement in the International Franchise Association, the National Restaurant Association, and the Women’s Foodservice Forum.


In her statement, Neary expressed excitement to join Taco John’s during a pivotal moment in its journey. With its rich history and dedicated following, the company is poised for continued success under her leadership.

Founded in 1969, Taco John’s operates and franchises nearly 400 restaurants across 23 states. Under Creel’s leadership, the chain experienced significant growth, with average unit volumes increasing by 22% and system sales up by 17%.

Taco John’s is currently focused on expanding its presence throughout the Midwest and existing territories, reflecting its commitment to growth and innovation in the fast-food industry.


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