Neil Harfert, longtime food industry veteran, is joining R&R BBQ’s leadership team. He has been named the fast-growing restaurant chain’s new President as it charts out its next chapter of growth as Utah’s preeminent Southern barbecue chain.
"Having served in leadership capacities for over 26 years in the restaurant industry, I am excited for this opportunity to work with such a beloved brand that is poised for great success," said Harfert. "The Livingstons created the best championship BBQ concept I have seen in America. That is why I decided to move my family from Seattle to Salt Lake City—to make sure more people have the opportunity to enjoy the amazing food that R&R BBQ smokes each day as we grow throughout the Western United States."
Greg Warnock, a member of the R&R BBQ Board of Directors and Managing Partner of Mercato Partners' Savory Fund, added: "Neil is a proven and respected leader who has delivered strong operating results through a long career in the food and beverage industry, with powerhouse brands like Qdoba, Modern Market Eatery, and MOD Pizza. I am confident that Neil will continue to lead our executive team and 350-plus team members to achieve great success and carry on the incredible brand the Livingstons created over five years ago."
With over 26 years of experience operating and growing successful restaurant chains, Harfert brings a wealth of industry experience to his new position. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Field Operations for MOD Pizza, where he helped lead the chain through explosive growth, according to a press release. His resume also includes heading up the operations of Modmarket Farm Fresh Eateries, Qdoba Mexican Eats, and more.
As Harfert steps into his new role as President, the Founders of R&R BBQ, Rod and Roger Livingston, will retire to pursue other interests. Under their leadership and passion for great barbecue, the restaurant chain grew from a championship barbecue competition team to a chain of eight restaurants along the Wasatch Front.
"We have loved serving this community for the past five years. It has been one of the greatest accomplishments of our lives," said Rod Livingston. "We hope all of our guests will continue to enjoy our championship BBQ for years to come."
Roger Livingston continued, "It is exciting to see how far we have come from the early days of R&R BBQ to now. Rod and I are so grateful for the entire community's support."
Congratulations to Neil Harfert and Rod and Roger Livingston on these next chapters in their professional journeys!