Habit’s New CEO

Russ Bendel to Oversee Hamburger Chain’s Expansion

Santa Barbara-based Habit Burger Grill announced that Russ Bendel will take over as its new president and CEO. The Santa Barbara-based chain, with locations in Ventura, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, has plans to expand to 120 locations within the next seven years. Bendel has previously served as CEO of the Cheesecake Factory and Mimi’s Cafe. The expansion is being financed by Connecticut-based KarpReilly, LLC, which purchased majority interest in the Habit last year. Before Bendel’s appointment, the Habit was headed by founder Brent Reichard, who will remain active as the company’s chairman; he and brother Bruce Reichard continue to wholly own the Santa Barbara stores, including the original Hamburger Habit, which was established in Goleta in 1976.

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