There was nothing ordinary about Isaiah Ritchie’s first job with Diversified Restaurant Group.
“We were tasked with opening up a cantina on the Las Vegas strip,”Ritchie said, referring back to his first few months as an Area Coach with DRG,“and it was something that had never been done before.”
But Ritchie didn’t join the DRG team to do ordinary work. On the hunt for something more, he was hired in March of 2016. After years of working for Five Guys – a burger chain in New Mexico – Ritchie followed his mentor, Todd Kelly, to Vegas. By November, he was at the helm of Taco Bell’s latest experiment: Opening their first“flagship” restaurant.
“Everything was new and un-tested,” Ritchie said about the cantina.“It took a lot of trial and error to make our opening go off without a hitch.”
Of course, surprises popped up here there. The cantina’s iconic bubble tubes were without color until Ritchie’s team got creative at 2 a.m. the night before opening.“We ended up coloring the water with cake die,” he said, laughing.
After helping the cantina team find their feet, DRG promoted Ritchie to Senior Area Coach – a transition that required him to split his time between the Las Vegas and Reno markets, overseeing 30 restaurants. From there, it was a natural progression to his current role as Director of Operations.
“I’m in charge of making sure we’re doing the right thing for everybody: the business, our employees and our customers,” Ritchie says.“I’m excited to continue learning from the best in the business.”