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AUA-backed Tijuana Flats appoints Larry Ryback CEO

Tijuana Flats Tex-Mex restaurants parent company TJF USA, LCC appointed Larry Ryback CEO. Ryback, formerly of True Food Kitchen and P.F. Chang’s, will report to Steven Flyer, the company’s chairman and partner at AUA Private Equity Partners, which backs Tijuana Flats.


ORLANDO, FL–(Marketwired – July 19, 2016) – TJF USA, LLC, parent company for Tijuana Flats Tex-Mex restaurants, is pleased to announce Larry Ryback as the new Chief Executive Officer, reporting to the company’s Chairman of the Board and Partner at AUA Private Equity Partners, Steven Flyer. Larry brings with him over 25 years of demonstrated success in growth-oriented, leading restaurant brands. “Larry’s industry knowledge, proven leadership and results are the perfect fit to lead Tijuana Flats as the brand continues its path of growth and success,” said Flyer. “He brings with him exceptional operational knowledge and I am confident that he will continue the culture that sets Tijuana Flats apart from all others.”

Most recently, Ryback was the President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) for True Food Kitchen where he oversaw the development of the new concept strengthening their unit level economics and preparing the company for aggressive expansion. Additionally, he served as the COO of P.F. Chang’s where he oversaw 212 restaurants, over 18,000 employees and $950M in annual revenue. “I am extremely excited to join such a dynamic and innovative brand with so much growth potential,” Ryback commented. “The unique culture and existing strong leadership of Tijuana Flats provides an excellent foundation for continued future development”.

Earlier in his career, Ryback was the COO for Kona Grill and Redstone American Grill where he was instrumental in building both brands. Ryback’s appointment is effective Monday, July 18, 2016.

About Tijuana Flats

Established in 1995 in Winter Park, Florida, Tijuana Flats is a unique, fast-casual Tex-Mex dining experience featuring superior guest service and fresh, made-to-order food. Tijuana Flats has 120 locations in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The brand has been named to Fast Casual Magazine’s 2015 & 2016 Top 100 Movers & Shakers list.

About AUA Equity

AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC is a New York-based, operationally-focused, lower middle-market investment firm providing strategic capital to companies in the consumer, media, and business services sectors, with a particular focus on family-owned businesses and companies benefiting from the growth of the U.S. Hispanic population. AUA Equity makes equity investments of $15 to $50 million in companies that generate in excess of $3 million in EBITDA. AUA Equity currently manages over $275 million of capital. For more information on AUA Private Equity, please visit