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Abe Ruiz promoted to CEO at Babalu Tapas & Tacos

Abe Ruiz

Babalu Tapas & Tacos hired industry veteran Abe Ruiz in December 2017 to take on the role of chief operating officer at the Spanish-meets-Southern-style tapas restaurant. In just five months, parent company Eat Here Brands has promoted Ruiz to CEO of the growing Babalu Tapas & Tacos restaurant concept. Ruiz takes over the CEO reins from company co-founder Bill Latham, who remains on the board with vice-president and co-founder Al Roberts and will assist with day-to-day operations as needed.

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 of 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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