Harper Caron, who was president of the Dallas-based Uncle Julio's Tex-Mex chain, died in a downtown Dallas hotel; he was 45.
Police officers were called to the Statler Dallas on Saturday August 7 where they found Caron at about 5 am.
The cause of death has not been determined, and a police report did not say whether he was pronounced dead at the hotel or taken to a hospital.
Caron was a native of New Orleans who studied at the University of New Orleans and the University of Maryland. He worked for Uncle Julio's for 25 years, moving up the ranks to become president in September 2019.
Headquartered in Irving, the first Uncle Julio’s opened in 1986 and has since grown to 41 restaurants in 11 states. It was acquired by L Catterton in 2017.
A statement from Uncle Julio's called his death "a profound loss for our entire Uncle Julio's family."
"Harper and I have worked closely together for the past eight years and he will be sorely missed," said Uncle Julio's CEO Tom Vogel in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."
Employees who worked for him expressed appreciation for his thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, and drive, saying that "he always had a way to convince that his way was best."
He was a "never a dull moment" guy — easy to see in a fun video he made where he joined staffers as they lip-synced to the Katy Perry song "Firework."
A resident of Coppell, Caron was married to Patricia Hayes Caron, and had two daughters, as well as family in Louisiana.