What the CEOs of the Largest Restaurant Groups Earned in 2019

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The hospitality and food industry was performing well leading into 2020 before COVID-19 struck. While most CEOs of restaurants today have cut or reduced their salaries, Bar & Restaurant took a look at their compensation from 2019 as part of a series we are doing on stalwarts of the industry. Overall, there is a correlation with total revenue to compensation while net income had less of a clear connection.

According to SEC filings, the most compensated CEO was Jose Cil who oversees Restaurant Business International (QSR) who are known for operating Burger Kings, Popeyes, and Tim Hortons. Second in the fast food/fast casual space was Chipotle's Brian Niccol and he may be poised for a huge 2020 payoff with the way their stock has been performing this year. Chipotle was down nearly 45% from it's Jan 2nd stock price but has coming roaring back and is up over 55% YTD.

In more traditional restaurant dining, Eugene Lee Jr. of Darden Restaurants was the only CEO to crack the $10M threshold, well above the average of $5.6M. Not far behind Lee Jr. was Wyamn Roberts of Brinker International (Chili's + Maggiano's Littly Italy) who came up just short at $9.95M. 

While cruise lines are much more than just food, they are focused on hospitality and the payout for the three CEOs of the top companies were fairly comparable to each other when looking at the wide range of the more traditional restaurant category. Check out the interactive graphs below to see how each CEO stacks up. 

In this table, we included Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's Chief Executive Officer, to highlight their revenue, net income (massive losses), and his 2019 intake. Bringing in over $42 million, it is only ~$14 million less that the top 10 CEOs salaries combined in the restaurant category.



Some CEOs took over mid-year including McDonald's CEO, Chris Kempczinski, and Bloomin' Brands CEO, David Deno. For net income/revenue and CEO salaries, Google Finance, Yahoo Finance, Salary.com and SEC filings were used. This is meant for informational purposes only.