A seasoned restaurateur and innovative leader, Mario Padrino Sr. has more than four decades of experience in hospitality. Born in Pinar del Río, Cuba, Mario moved to the United States at a young age and entered the restaurant industry in 1976 when his parents opened the first Padrino’s location in South Florida. To honor their legacy and hard work, he followed in their footsteps becoming CEO in 1984, taking on the responsibility for the restaurant’s finances, operations, expansion, and culture. In 1992, he expanded the brand’s footprint with the opening of Padrino’s Plantation — the first location operating under his leadership as a second-generation owner.
Today, Padrino’s operates under the family’s third generation of owners. Mario continues to play a role in supporting the collection of Cuban restaurants as Culture Ambassador, assuring his family legacy and traditions are upheld.