CYPRESS, Calif. – Veteran restaurant executive Charles Robinson has been named president and CEO of Real Mex Restaurants and he will also serve on the board of directors. Robinson replaces interim CEO Christopher Thomas, who has served in the post since mid-2012 and will remain on the board.

Most recently, Robinson was working closely with the founder of Warner Hospitality as executive vice president of Food & Beverage, helping develop, refurbish and rejuvenate restaurants for several high-profile casinos around the US, including the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

"Charlie's proven leadership abilities and business acumen are exactly what we need to further boost the performance improvements underway," said Mark Holdsworth, chairman of Real Mex and managing partner of Tennenbaum Capital Partners, one of the company's owners. "His decades of experience operating restaurants, including several Mexican brands, will be invaluable as we move forward."

Headquartered in Cypress, Calif., Real Mex Restaurants calls itself the largest full-service, casual-dining Mexican restaurant chain operator in the US with 125 company owned and operated restaurants, as well as 15 franchised restaurants. Brands include El Torito Restaurants; Acapulco Mexican Restaurants; Chevys Fresh Mex Restaurants; El Torito Grill Restaurants; Las Brisas Restaurant in Laguna Beach; Sinigual Restaurant in New York City; Who Song and Larry's in Vancouver, Wash.; and El Paso Cantina in Torrance, Calif.

The Real Mex Foods division is also a custom manufacturer of foodservice and private-label products plus co-packs for other manufacturers.