Restaurant Industry Veteran Brings More Than 25 Years Experience to Growing Brand
Atlanta, GA (RestaurantNews.com) Taco Mac, Georgia’s largest and fastest-growing sports bar brand, is known for its fresh, never-frozen wings, extensive list of craft beers and large televisions for sports viewing. Effective Nov. 15, 2022, Taco Mac has hired industry veteran Paul Baldasaro as its new chief operating officer to further strengthen operations, accelerate the adoption of operational and technological innovations and prepare the brand for rapid restaurant unit growth.
Baldasaro brings more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry to his new position. He has been an integral part in developing and growing casual dining brands throughout his career. He most recently served as president and CEO of Hickory Tavern, a 25-unit sports bar brand based in Charlotte, where he led an operational transformation, successfully navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic, stabilized employee turnover and improved same store sales. He has a track record for reenergizing legacy brands through the lens of their core guests and outlining a path forward that streamlines operations and delivers more fully on the consumers’ needs.
His new role at Taco Mac is a homecoming for Baldasaro, who has served as COO for two Atlanta-based restaurant companies – Mellow Mushroom and Buckhead Life Restaurant Group. Baldasaro also is a past board chairman of the Georgia Restaurant Association.
At a time when many restaurants are closing their doors due to the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taco Mac has seen positive year-over-year sales and is expanding, having opened its 27th location in Gainesville, Georgia, last month. Since 2020, Taco Mac has opened three new restaurants and has four restaurant openings planned for 2023, including Macon, Conyers and Dawsonville in Georgia and Pelham, Alabama. Baldasaro is joining the 43-year-old brand at a time of rapid growth.
“I am thrilled that Paul has joined our leadership team,” says Taco Mac CEO Harold Martin, Jr. “He is an experienced and disciplined leader with high integrity and deep experience in all facets of restaurant operations. He also has a passion for creating magical hospitality experiences. Paul’s leadership will help accelerate our growth and better serve our loyal guests, our passionate team members and the local communities we serve.”
“I have been dining at Taco Mac since I moved to Atlanta more than 15 years ago,” says Baldasaro. “I am excited to join the Taco Mac family and work alongside a world-class leadership team to help write the next chapter of the Taco Mac story.”
As chief operating officer, Baldasaro will be responsible for leading the operations and training teams. In 2019, Taco Mac received the GRACE Award for Restaurateur of the Year from the Georgia Restaurant Association.
About Taco Mac
A Georgia institution since 1979, Taco Mac offers a wide variety of beers on draft, the Southeast’s Original Buffalo wings and multiple HDTVs for enjoying all your favorite sporting events. Started by two friends from Buffalo, New York, Taco Mac now has 27 locations across Georgia and Tennessee. Over the years, Taco Mac has garnered numerous accolades and most recently has been named among the “Best Sports Bars in Atlanta” by Thrillist; one of “The 15 Best Sports Bars in Atlanta” by Foursquare; the best sports bar in Georgia in The Daily Meal’s roundup of “Best Sports Bar in Every State;” and one of the “Best Places to Watch College and NFL Football in Atlanta” by Eater. The eatery also made USA Today’s 10 Best list of “Best Sports Bars in Atlanta.” For more information, visit tacomac.com.
Melissa Libby & Associates