LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Steve Ortiz, chief operating officer of Texas Roadhouse Inc. announced his retirement effective January 2015.

The company also announced the promotion of Doug Thompson to vice president of operations. Thompson brings more than 31 years of industry experience to the job, including 12 years with Texas Roadhouse.

Ortiz joined Texas Roadhouse in 1996 as the market partner for Texas. He was promoted to director of operations in 2001 and later to COO in 2004 following his success in building the business in Texas. The company is working with Ortiz on an agreement to become a franchisee in the San Diego area.

“We thank Steve for his 18 years of service to Texas Roadhouse. His operational focus and his passion for our company will serve us for years to come,” said Kent Taylor, CEO and chairman of the board.