Meet Juan “Chino” Lopez, Regional Executive Kitchen Manager
Chino started his career with Kings in 2013 when we opened our fourth location in Orlando, Florida. Chino began his career with the company as a line and prep cook as part of the opening team.
Prior to Kings, Chino was a proud Marine who served our country for several years where he learned discipline, leadership skills and working with a team to achieve lofty goals. After his military career, Chino worked for 9+ years at the Big River Grill in Florida, and several other hotel and restaurants.
Chino’s career at Kings began to take shape about a year into his tenure, as he was recognized for his skills and leadership abilities, making a big step from kitchen supervisor to Assistant Kitchen Manager. In this new role he continued to learn and grow and develop his management skills and when the opportunity to become the Executive Kitchen Manager in our Raleigh, NC location emerged, Chino packed his bags and began his new chapter. In Raleigh, Chino ensured a smooth and successful opening in the kitchen, bringing the Kings culinary experience to a whole new market. After a few years of hard work in Raleigh, Chino assisted in the opening of our very first “Draft Room”/ Kings location in Franklin, Tennessee, as well as, assisting in the opening of our 3rd “Draft Room” and the remodel of Kings Rosemont in Illinois.
Chino’s next challenge in his journey was to assemble a team and open Kings’ 10th location, as Executive Kitchen Manager in the amazing Kings Doral, Florida location. As Chino moved back closer to “home” he had one of the most incredible culinary openings in Doral in the history of growing our brand.
Since the opening in Doral, Chino has been traveling between locations fully supporting the teams in Kings’ Southern Region while keeping his home base and working alongside his amazing talented Culinary partners in each location. There is no wonder why the culinary leaders in the locations that Chino oversees are among the strongest, most self-sufficient and talented in the industry as each of them continues to contribute in ways that have helped to make our company culinary program an award-winning one. Chino has assisted in the training and development of many Chefs in our company, as well as executing large, complex and impressive events in any location that calls upon him. Chino has had such an amazing impact on all of the stores and our people.
Chino is deeply involved in menu R&D, purchasing, training program development and “SOP” implementation across the whole company. His skills continue to develop as he continues to teach his team more about what he does to allow himself to grow and learn more.
Chino embodies everything we look for in a “Senior Leader” in the KDE company with supreme levels of work ethic, integrity and leadership that has earned him the respect and reputation of excellence among every Chef and all of the Senior Leaders that work with him. Chino has never asked for rewards for his efforts and has always made his decisions purely based on promoting the company needs and the great people he works with. His “trust in his journey” has lead him on his path to where he is today based on his decisions and willingness to unselfishly change, evolve and develop those around him. Chino has worked so hard to grow himself, to never make excuses and always reflect on how he can learn and teach from any situation. Having this kind of positive philosophy has helped to grow KDE into what it is today. Chino has a strong and powerful legacy and an admirable path that will only continue to be strengthened by his hard work and efforts.
When Chino is not hard at work at Kings he enjoys fishing and tinkering on his car. Another passion of Chino’s is enjoying time with his incredible, remarkably supportive wife and extraordinary smart children.