Lion's Choice | St. Louis Public Radio

Lion's Choice

Michael Kupstas is president and CEO of regional fast-food chain Lion's Choice, which has been around for more than five decades.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Several years ago, restaurant industry veteran Michael “Kup” Kupstas was happily enjoying retirement when the appeal of Lion’s Choice prompted a change of plans. He wound up reentering the workforce in 2017 as the regional fast-food chain’s president and CEO.

“It was really the similarity of an experience I had early on [in a previous role] with Panera, to be honest,” Kupstas said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, explaining what impressed him about Lion’s Choice. “I think what makes certain brands stand out is that they are able to differentiate dramatically in a really crowded field.”

Kupstas told host Sarah Fenske that he was also drawn to the “loyal, fanatic fans” and the employees of Lion’s Choice, which Food & Wine magazine recently deemed Missouri’s best fast food.