Exec Edge hosted a fireside chat at the 2024 ICR Conference with Barry McGowan, CEO of Fogo de Chao. The in-person interview was joined by Editor-in-Chief John Jannarone and they discussed its new locations in Los Angeles, the importance of brand building and brand awareness for growth, its customizable menu to adapt to customers’ needs and allow for flexibility, its commitment to plant-based proteins and sustainable growth, its offering of vegetarian options to include all types of customers, and more. Watch the full recording below:
About Barry McGowan
George B. McGowan has served as Chief Executive Officer of Fogo de Chão since 2019, and served as its President from 2013–2018. Barry has over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, including more than 10 years with Brinker International. He served as Chief Operating Officer of Macaroni Grill from 2010 to 2013 and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Waterloo Restaurants from 2002 to 2010. With his prior experience, Barry brings a broad range of strategic leadership and operational knowledge to Fogo de Chão. Barry holds a B.S. in Hotel Restaurant Management from the University of North Texas and a Graduate Certificate in Finance from Southern Methodist University.
About Fogo de Chao
Fogo de Chão is an internationally renowned steakhouse that allows guests to discover what’s next at every turn. Founded in Southern Brazil in 1975, Fogo elevates the centuries-old cooking technique of churrasco – the art of roasting high-quality cuts of meat over an open flame – into a cultural dining experience of discovery. In addition to its Market Table and Feijoada Bar – which includes seasonal salads and soup, fresh vegetables, imported charcuterie and more – guests are served simply-seasoned meats that are butchered, fire-roasted and carved tableside by gaucho chefs. Guests can also indulge in dry-aged or premium Wagyu cuts, seafood a la carte, all-day happy hour featuring signature cocktails, and an award-winning South American wine list, as well as smaller, sharable plates in Bar Fogo. Fogo offers differentiated menus for all dayparts including lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and group dining, plus full-service catering and contactless takeout and delivery options. Fogo has 80 locations across the globe, including 64 in the United States, 8 in Brazil, 6 in Mexico and 2 in the Middle East. Additional U.S. locations, plus franchised restaurants in Canada, Costa Rica, and El Salvador, are currently under development, with additional countries in the pipeline.