R&R BBQ, a fast-growing restaurant chain with eight locations along the Wasatch Front, has named Neil Harfert as president. He replaces the brother team of Rod and Roger Livingston at the head of the company. The Livingstons are retairing to pursue other interests, the company said in a release.

“Neil is a proven and respected leader who has delivered strong operating results through a long career in the food and beverage industry, with powerhouse brands like Qdoba, Modern Market Eatery and MOD Pizza,” said Greg Warnock, a member of the R&R BBQ board of directors and managing partner of Mercato Partners’ Savory Fund which owns the chain. “I am confident that Neil will continue to lead our executive team and 350-plus team members to achieve great success and carry on the incredible brand the Livingstons created over five years ago.”

Harfert brings over 26 years of experience in the operation of restaurant chains. Prior to joining R&R BBQ, Harfert served as vice president of field operations for MOD Pizza where he helped lead the chain through explosive growth from 25 restaurants in five states to more than 255 units in 18 states over a five-year period. His experience also includes heading up operations for restaurant chains like Modmarket Farm Fresh Eateries, Qdoba Mexican Eats and others.

“Having served in leadership capacities for over 26 years in the restaurant industry, I am excited for this opportunity to work with such a beloved brand that is poised for great success,” said Harfert. “The Livingstons created the best championship BBQ concept I have seen in America. That is why I decided to move my family from Seattle to Salt Lake City, to make sure more people have the opportunity to enjoy the amazing food that R&R BBQ smokes each day as we grow throughout the Western United States.”

Founders Rod and Roger Livingston converted their passion as a championship BBQ competition team to a chain of Utah restaurants.