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Rego names Mike Gieseman director of Culinary and Innovation for Quiznos, Taco Del Mar

Rego charges new culinary head with striking a balance between culinary, operations

Rego Restaurant Group announced Chef Mike Gieseman has been tapped as director of Culinary and Innovation for Quiznos and Taco Del Mar. Prior to this new role at Rego, he was a consultant for restaurant groups in the Denver area. Gieseman was formerly manager of research and development for Qdoba Restaurant Group. As Rego director of Culinary and Innovation, Gieseman is charged with culinary innovation and revitalizing the menus at Quiznos and Taco Del Mar.

Previously, Eric Grundmeier was named Rego chief supply officer in February. Also in the same month, Mark Lohmann became chief marketing officer after Tim Casey accepted the role of chief executive in January.

Gieseman to upscale, revitalize Quiznos, Taco Del Mar menus

Gieseman headed development for Taco Del Mar’s most recent limited-time offer (LTO), the Lobster and Seafood Taco, which debuts May 7. (“del Mar” means “of the sea” in Spanish.) Taco Del Mar serves the Lobster and Seafood Taco chilled. The new LTO utilizes lobster salad with fresh cilantro, onions and serrano peppers, served over shredded cabbage. The kitchen team then tops the tacos with house-made pico de gallo and Taco Del Mar white sauce.

As a lead on Quiznos’ culinary development, Gieseman will source and feature higher quality meats and unique sauces to enhance the guest experience. This will also work to Rego’s advantage in spurring repeat business. In recent months, Quiznos has been upscaling its menu with a focus on recipes that feature brisket and prime rib.

Additionally, Rego looks to its director of Culinary and Innovation, to balance culinary creativity with operational capabilities, striking a fine balance. A Denver-based restaurant group, Rego has made some high-profile hires in the past few months to power the revitalization of Quiznos and increase business at Taco Del Mar.

“As the leader of our culinary center of excellence, his consumer insights-driven methodology is a major competitive advantage for our portfolio of turnaround brands as we continue to drive a transformational agenda,” said Mark Lohmann, REGO chief brand officer. “Even if the menus at each of our restaurants are drastically different, the notion of fully understanding what the guest craves is a central driver across brands.”

Photo credit: Rego Restaurant Group

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