|Industry||Casual dining restaurant|
|Headquarters||Salt Lake City, Utah|
Cafe Rio, or Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, is an American fast casual restaurant chain based in Salt Lake City, with branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. The company specializes in Mexican cuisine. Its menu includes appetizers, tostadas, salads, burritos, desserts, enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, soups, and beverages. The company also provides catering services. In October 2017, the chain had 120 locations. In September 2019, it has grown to 133 locations.
Cafe Rio was started in 1997 by Steve and Tricia Stanley in St. George, Utah. In December 2004, Bob and Kathleen Nilsen, Spencer K Hill, along with SKM/Apax Partners purchased the chain, which at the time had six restaurants. In 2011, Dave Gagnon took over as CEO and COO at the same time as Bob Baker was appointed President and CFO. In 2018, Steve Vaughan became CEO when Dave Gagnon retired. Previously, Mr. Vaughan was CFO. As of December 2020, Cafe Rio is operating in 135 locations across 11 states. Cafe Rio's recipes are inspired from the traditional cooking of the Rio Grande region of Northern Mexico, Southern Texas and New Mexico. Meals are cooked in each restaurant's kitchen, fresh every day. The signature dish is a sweet pork barbacoa burrito made enchilada-style. There are plans on opening 12 new locations in 2021 and converting current stores to drive-thru's.
The company has locations in:
- "Cafe Rio, Inc.: Private Company Information - Businessweek". Businessweek.com. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- "Cafe Rio | Mexican Grill-60 Awards and counting". www.caferio.com. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- Our Story
- "Official website". Retrieved 2 January 2008.
- "Cafe Rio official is presented a national award". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). 2007-05-05. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
- "Taylorsville Cafe Rio boosts economy". Salt Lake Community College Globe. 2006-04-13. Retrieved 2 January 2008.[permanent dead link]
- "Café Rio creates scholarships for American Indian students". The Daily Utah Chronicle. 2006-01-12. Archived from the original on 7 September 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
- "MWVG Honor's Utah's Fastest Growing Companies". 2003-11-19. Archived from the original on 10 May 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2008.