Developers in Cheyenne, Wyoming, were shying away from the small parcel of land with the irregular shape on Dell Range Boulevard. But when the development team at Taco John's looked at the location, they saw the opportunity to test a new building concept for its quick-service Mexican restaurant chain.
“It’s on a great traffic corridor and across the street from a brand new McDonald’s. It offers great visibility. But the lot is small,” says Dan James, chief development officer for Taco John’s. “So we decided to test a small building, forego the inside seating, and focus on the drive-thrus next to a very busy street.” Seating inside the new restaurant accommodates seven customers. Outside, two drive-thru lanes and order stations improve traffic flow while feeding into a single pick-up window.
“We believe this building design will, in the long term, save money for our franchisees,” James says. “It gives us the opportunity to cut costs for franchisees and still be able to maintain really good sales levels. And it opens the door to markets across the country that we would have turned down previously because the real estate wasn’t cost effective.”
James plans to test the smaller footprint model with as many as five locations over the next year and a half. The early results, however, are promising on Dell Range Blvd. Since opening in June 2013, sales numbers have been strong with nearly two thirds of the business coming through the drive-thru.