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Babalu Tapas & Tacos Hires Abe Ruiz as COO

Abe Ruiz is the new COO of Babalu Tapas & Tacos.

Babalu Tapas & Tacos announced the addition of Abe Ruiz to the Spanish-meets-Southern-style tapas restaurant’s team of executives. As chief operating officer, Ruiz oversees the organization’s daily operations and drives the restaurant’s growth across the Southeast and Midwest, which includes three new locations planned for 2018.

“Abe has been instrumental in creating exceptional dining experiences for national restaurant concepts across all segments,” said Bill Latham, CEO of Eat Here Brands. “He’s demonstrated exemplary leadership skills and an attention to detail that we are very proud to have at our corporate office in Atlanta.”

Prior to his arrival at Babalu, Ruiz spent two years as COO of Famous Dave’s of America, where he was responsible for the company’s brand strategy and operations. He led the building of the company’s international franchising platform and key initiatives that reinvigorated business performance including opening new restaurants in the UAE. Previously, he was the COO for Colon Gerena Restaurant Group, the parent franchisee for Famous Dave’s of America, Applebee’s, Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Sizzler and Wendy’s in Puerto Rico. Ruiz’s career also includes a role as vice president of marketing and operations for IL Mulino NYC, a fine dining concept that has been rated as the top Italian dining destination in New York City for 27 years.

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