Now, husband-and-wife owners Patrick and Kathy Terry have visions of expanding the business to Houston. To help the burger chain expand past Central Austin, they have brought on a new CEO, Todd Coerver, who had worked as the chief operating officer of Denver-based chain Larkburger since 2016.
Patrick Terry said he hopes the expansion into Houston will happen within two years. He will remain involved in the business despite stepping out of the CEO role.
“It’s a great challenge because there’s no guarantees no matter what. We made the call that [expansion] is what we wanted to do, and when we made that decision, it became apparent the smart move is to find somebody who’s done it before, because I haven’t,” he said.
Before his time at Larkburger, Coerver worked at two Texas-based chains, according to a 2016 media release from Larkburger—first at Whataburger leading marketing and innovation, then at Taco Cabana, first as chief brand officer before he was promoted to chief operating officer.
Terry said that portfolio fit with what he was looking for because P. Terry’s has opened two Taco Ranch restaurants in Austin in addition to its burger spots.
“I wanted somebody who isn’t coming in with a wrecking ball because we’re doing okay—not somebody to dismantle the business—but I also know we’re always open to making ourselves better,” Patrick Terry said. “It’s that balance. He understood our culture. That was the thing that was the biggest selling point for us.”
Terry said the decision to move to Houston was partly influenced by the success of two other local Austin chains that have since expanded past Central Texas—Torchy’s Tacos and Hopdoddy Burger Bar.
“We like the size and the diversity of the city; we’re obviously impressed with Torchy’s and Hopdoddy’s success there, and if we could replicate that it would be wonderful,” Terry said.
In addition to the Houston expansion, Terry said there are five additional P. Terry’s locations in Central Texas coming soon in various stages of planning. After the San Marcos location opens, he said there are plans to expand to Georgetown, Pflugerville, North Austin at I-35 and Parmer Lane and South Austin at I-35 and Slaughter Lane.