Irving-based On the Border brought on its new CEO and president Tim Ward on June 1, 2020, when restaurants were struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic and the former $270 million brand was losing fans.
“Back 15 years ago, this was a sexy brand,” Ward says. “We’ve got to figure out how to bring that back.”
Ward knew he needed to look earlier than the beginning of the pandemic. The company hasn’t opened a new corporate restaurant in at least five years or a franchise in 10 years. That’s a pretty astounding lack of growth for a company that operates over 100 corporate stores and eight franchises in the United States and 14 franchises in South Korea.
On the Border was “in a little bit of a downward spiral,” Ward says, getting lost in the shuffle among new chain restaurants. Houston-based Lupe Tortilla has been moving into North Texas in the past few years and threatened to be one of several Tex-Mex competitors.
“I came in, and everyone felt a little defeated,” the CEO says. But then he cheers up: “We’re going to use this challenging time, and we’re going to go back and we’re going to fix the brand.”
Read the full story at Dallas Morning News.