This article was published on QSR 10/31/22. It has been edited to fit this format.
Tijuana Flats Restaurants, owner, operator and franchisor of the fast casual, Tex-Mex restaurant brand with 124 company-owned and franchised restaurants, announced that Joe Christina has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors.
Christina is a seasoned restaurant leader who brings almost 40 years of restaurant operating experience to Tijuana Flats. Christina has strong strategic, leadership, and management skills with a demonstrated track record of delivering sustained revenue and profit growth in dynamic and changing markets. Christina has achieved excellent results throughout his career with an emphasis on people first, process, and on delivering an exceptional guest experience. In addition, Christina brings a wealth of franchising knowledge that will be instrumental as the company continues to focus on growth through franchising.
“My family and I have been guests of Tijuana Flats for many, many years,” says Christina. “As a longtime fan, I am excited to join the organization as it prepares for its next stage of growth. It starts with great food, enthusiastic team members, engaged franchisees, and supportive ownership,” continues Christina. “Together, with heart and hustle, I look forward to driving growth and continuing to evolve the brand and the guest experience.”
Since 2016, Christina has been the CEO, president and board member at Church’s Texas Chicken where he began as executive vice president of U.S. operations in 2013. Church’s has more than 1,700 locations in 26 countries and international territories and system-wide sales in excess of $1.2 billion.
Prior to joining Church’s, Christina spent 28 years at Burger King with continuously increasing responsibilities and also became a franchisee. Most recently, Christina was senior vice president responsible for a division with $2 billion in sales and 2,000 restaurants in 19 states. His previous positions at Burger King included vice president of global operations and training and division vice president, franchise operations where he led the southeast division with 350 franchisees and 1,800 restaurants.
Tijuana Flats Chairman of the Board John Caron says, “We are excited to have Joe join the Tijuana Flats family. Joe is a talented and experienced restaurant veteran who is well positioned to take this beloved brand with a loyal and passionate following to the next level. His focus on delivering an exceptional guest experience coupled with his extensive franchising knowledge make him the ideal person for the CEO role.”