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"All the credit for this achievement really belongs to the dedicated franchise owners in our system and the rest of the Taco John's Family who have helped us build and shape the brand over the past 32 years," said Paul Fisherkeller, Taco John's president and chief executive officer.
Referring to Taco John's appeal, Fisherkeller says, "Taco John's is a strong brand with an excellent consumer profile. From extensive research, we know our customers view our menu offerings as larger portions with higher quality and more authentic Mexican flavors.
Newly appointed chief operating officer, Gene Van Horne, was also present at the celebration, which kicked off with the crowd gathering around a "taco-meter" constructed by an employee several years ago. The makeshift machine, sitting in the reception area of the company's headquarters, has been cleverly ticking off tacos sold throughout the system for years.
Van Horne, who served as the company's vice president of franchise development for over a year before being promoted to chief operating officer two weeks ago, tells of the discovery of the billionth taco.
"One day in April," said Van Horne, "one of the staff came rushing in to alert Paul (Fisherkeller) and the rest of us that the taco-meter was approaching a billion tacos. So, we decided then and there that this was cause for a celebration. It's just another indicator of our growth."
According to Fisherkeller, "Our goal is to be the number one regional chain in quick-service Mexican. In recent years, the company has shifted strategy from franchising single locations in towns and small cities to working with area developers who will open several stores at a time in larger markets."
Van Horne enthused, "We believe at Taco John's that we've found the right formula to make the decisions that resound positively for the company and our franchisees."
A new location with AAFES (Army, Air Force Exchange Services) opens in Fort Carson in Colorado Springs this summer as part of a 15-store development plan.