Full service Mexican restaurant brand Uncle Julio’s Restaurant Group has named Scott Lawton its new CEO.

Lawton, who has more than two decades of leadership experience, will be responsible for accelerating the company’s growth.

He co-founded Bartaco in 2011, a coastally inspired restaurant brand known for serving upscale street food with 29 locations in 13 US states.

He served as president and COO of Barteca Restaurant Group, the holding company of Bartaco until it was acquired by Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group in 2018.

In 2019, he re-joined Bartaco as its CEO after Del Frisco’s was acquired by L Catterton, which acquired Uncle Julio’s in 2017.

Lawton said: “Uncle Julio’s commitment to authentic, one-of-kind dining experiences has created an incredibly loyal following and I’m honoured to assume the role of CEO.

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“The company’s legacy and culture, built around attention to detail in every part of the dining experience, will continue to serve as the foundation for Uncle Julio’s during this next phase of growth.

“Bringing a deep commitment to brand building and innovation, I’m excited to leverage my experience at Bartaco to create a truly memorable experience for every guest who walks into our restaurants.”

Uncle Julio’s Restaurant Group has also named RJ Thomas as its new president and COO.

Thomas has more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry. Most recently, he served as the president and COO of King’s Seafood Company.

Thomas said: “I have long admired Uncle Julio’s for its unique take on Mexican dining – making authentic recipes from scratch using the freshest ingredients in a welcoming atmosphere.

“I’m proud to join Scott and the incredibly talented Uncle Julio’s team to help guide the company to continued success by combining great food and great service to drive great experiences.”