Clay Dover is the Chief Executive Officer, President and Taco Maker at Velvet Taco, a restaurant committed to a world of tacos without borders and one of the hottest fast casual
brands in the industry. Since he assumed leadership in March 2017, Velvet Taco has grown from 4 to 36 company-owned restaurants with 21 more in development and continues to see consecutive quarters of positive restaurant comparative sales. Dover attributes the brand’s success to quality, chef-driven recipes inspired by flavors around the world served in a tortilla and a strong “Tribe” culture that allows Team Members to be bold, curious and unconventional. Dover has successfully led the brand during recent unprecedented times, maintaining positive cash flow, improving margins, and continuing the development growth plan.
A service industry veteran with over 30 years of restaurant experience, Dover previously was the Chief Marketing Officer at Pei Wei, overseeing brand direction and culinary strategy. Additionally, Dover served as President and Chief Marketing Officer, Fry Cook and Cashier for Raising Cane’s Chicken Finger Restaurants for over 6 years while the brand grew from 63 to 225 units in 18 states and developed non-traditional, international and locations. He has served in a variety of senior marketing and leadership roles within the restaurant industry throughout his career.
Dover was named the past three years as one of the most influential restaurant CEO’s in the Country by Nations Restaurant News and has previously served as Co-Chair of the National Restaurant Association Marketing Advisory Group. Other achievements and awards include CMO of the Year; Dallas’s “40 under 40 Award”, and Chain Leader Protégé of the Year Award.