With a new CEO on board and aggressive growth goals in place, Taco John’s International has recruited two development specialists with a combined 44 years of QSR experience. The Mexican-themed quick service restaurant chain has hired Dan James as chief development officer and Van Ingram as vice president of franchise development.
“First we want to identify growth opportunities in our current markets where the Taco John’s brand already has outstanding customer recognition and loyalty,” James says. “As we continue to expand out from our current market base, that will make it easier to find and sign new franchise prospects in undeveloped markets. Taco John’s has great performing restaurants in the outlying areas of several large cities, and one goal will be to develop in more densely populated metropolitan areas.”
James brings 29 years of industry experience to his new job, including stints with McDonald’s and Hardee’s. He spent the last 15 years with the Arby’s Restaurant Group as national vice president of real estate. Ingram has worked for 15 years in franchise development with a variety of companies including YUM! Brands and Arby’s.
“The QSR Mexican category is one of the fastest-growing categories within the QSR channel,” Ingram says. “Fast food burger sales and other QSR channels are flat. People need to look into broadening their portfolio, and I think one area where they can find growth is in the Mexican category with a brand like Taco John’s.”
James and Ingram worked closely during the past seven years at Arby’s. They will continue working side-by-side at Taco John’s. At the top of their agenda is creating the right processes for real estate, design, and construction to drive new growth.
“That starts with our existing franchisees,” Ingram adds. “Some franchisees have been with us 20 to 40 years. We want to give them a chance to grow within the Taco John’s brand with more support and resources than they’ve received in the past. We will also aggressively pursue multi-unit franchisees of other concepts and new franchisees entering the industry.”
This vision aligns with CEO Jeff Linville’s aggressive goals for the entire chain. “We are glad to have two new professional development members on our team,” Linville says. “Taco John’s is poised for dramatic growth.”