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Former Checkers CEO takes helm of another fast-food chain

Rick Silva was CEO of Checkers & Rally's Restaurants for 13 years.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. March 5, 2021
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Rick Silva is steeping back up to the fast-food counter.

The former CEO of Tampa-based Checkers & Rally's Restaurants was recently named CEO of Culver’s, a rapidly-growing, fast-food chain known for its ButterBurger and fresh frozen custard. Silva will take over the helm of the Prairie du Sac, Wis.-based company, comprised of 792 restaurants, 496 owner-operators and 31,000 team members, March 29, according to a statement. Silva replaces Joe Koss, who retired at the end of 2020.

A 2015 Business Observer Top Entrepreneur, when Silva took over Checkers in 2007 the business was in a slump. An equity firm had just taken the firm private, and it had a five-year low in annual revenue.

Silva, who came to Checkers from an executive role at Burger King, oversaw a significant shift in culture, operations and menu items at the company. The results were notable: the enterprise value of Checkers grew from $180 million to $525 million in his 13 years there, and unit-level operating margins increased by more than 300 basis points, the release states. The company posted $844.7 million in revenue in 2017, when private equity firm Oak Hill Capital led a management buyout of the firm for $525 million.

Silva left Checker’s in February 2020 and was replaced by Frances Allen, who had been CEO of Boston Market. 

Culver’s meanwhile, has locations in 25 states and has been adding stores in Florida for the past decade. Officials expect the growth to continue under Silva. "As we searched for Culver's next leader, we were looking for several key characteristics — a true culture and values fit, the ability to support and expand the successful growth of our current and future franchisees and a drive to genuinely deliver on our Culver's mission: we genuinely care, so every guest who chooses Culver's leaves happy," Co-Founder Craig Culver says in the release. "We are confident that Rick can do all three and are excited to see what he brings to further accelerate Culver's."



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