Culver’s names Rick Silva CEO

The former Checkers and Rally’s chief executive will take over management of the Wisconsin-based burger concept.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Culver’s on Thursday named Rick Silva CEO. The former Checkers and Rally’s chief executive takes over for Joe Koss, who retired from the Prairie du Sac, Wis.-based chain late last year.

Rick Silva

Silva will take over the 792-unit chain at the end of March. He spent 13 years as CEO of Checkers & Rally’s, a largely drive-thru focused chain.

He takes over for what has quietly been a successful fast-food chain in Culver’s, whose system sales rose 14% in 2019 and likely benefited from a pandemic that emphasized drive-thru service.

In a release, the company credited Silva for building a “family-serving-family culture” at Checkers, saying that he built unit-level operating margin by more than 300 basis points.

“As we searched for Culver’s next leader, we were looking for several key characteristics—a true culture and values fit, the ability to support and expand the successful growth of our current and future franchisees and a drive to genuinely deliver on Culver’s mission,” co-founder Craig Culver said. “We are confident that Rick can do all three and are excited to see what he brings to further accelerate Culver’s.”

Koss retired late last year after 23 years with the chain.

Silvia will become only the fourth CEO in Culver’s history. Culver had been its longtime CEO before he retired in 2015, after which he was replaced by Phil Keiser, who died of a heart attack in 2016. Koss took over in 2017.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Why the Smashed Jack sparked record-smashing demand at Jack in the Box

Behind the Menu: The chain’s newest menu addition aims to break the mold on what a fast-food burger can be, and customers are buying in.


Why Wingstop isn't afraid of Popeyes' chicken wings

The Bottom Line: The fast-casual wing chain says its sales improve when another brand pushes the product. Here’s why that might be.


Mendocino Farms masters a meaty Philly cheesesteak sandwich—without the meat

Behind the Menu: The fast casual uses a mushroom-based meat alternative for its Philly Shroomsteak Sandwich, a new menu item targeted to flexitarians, not just vegans.


More from our partners