Taco Cabana

Fitting Finale

Desserts have been part of the limited-service restaurant landscape for decades. Whether it’s cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, or other goodies, consumers continue to seek these typically indulgent items to add to their meal or as a stand-alone treat.

In recent years, operators have added numerous dessert items, including many that don’t include chocolate. These days, fruits, cinnamon, peanut butter, and vanilla—the most popular ice cream and frozen yogurt flavor—are increasingly leveraged in dessert innovation.

Fiesta Restaurant Group Promotes Three Execs

Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc., which operates the fast-casual dining chains Taco Cabana, Pollo Tropical, and Cabana Grill, announced the promotions of several of its top executives.

Chief financial officer Lynn Schweinfurth was promoted to senior vice president after serving as CFO and vice president for the company since July 2012. During her tenure at Fiesta, she has helped implement new corporate systems, infrastructure, and staffing at the company’s new headquarters in Addison, Texas, 18 months ahead of schedule after the spin-out from Carrols Restaurant Group.  

Team Players

Quick-service executives have the capacity to do a lot of good outside just filling customer bellies with tasty food. Many choose to rally their loyal consumers behind a cause, creating fundraising opportunities and spreading awareness. Others go the extra mile to rally their own corporate team and restaurant employees to engage in volunteer work that can pay off for the whole company.

Taco Cabana Supports Wounded Vets with Fundraiser

Taco Cabana brings back its popular Taco Treat fundraiser this October to benefit the Warrior and Family Support Center (WFSC) at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. All Taco Cabana locations in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico will sell $1 coupon books good for five free bean and cheese tacos, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to WFSC. 

Taco Cabana, Pollo Tropical Share Pad Site in San Antonio

Pollo Tropical, Florida’s fast-casual concept, continues its Texas expansion with the opening of its first San Antonio location. It will share its grand opening celebration and adjacent pad site at 6819 N. Loop 1604 W. with the newest location of its sister restaurant, San Antonio’s Taco Cabana, which will debut its new prototype restaurant design.

Fit for a Fiesta

Like a tropical storm, many different elements came together in 2013 to create a standout year for Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent company to fast-casual brands Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana. After years of climbing sales and store counts, tinkering with the store design and menu, and strategic growth and marketing initiatives, both brands landed on the Contenders list for the first time, Pollo Tropical at No. 62, Taco Cabana at No. 64.

But while the two brands share a parent company, they don’t share many other resources or even markets. Not yet, anyway.

NBA Finals Ignite Restaurant Rivalry

The NBA Finals repeat between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs have given two Fiesta Restaurant Group COOs a reason to renew a sibling-restaurant rivalry of their own.

San Antonio-based Taco Cabana COO Todd Coerver and Miami-based Pollo Tropical COO Danny Meisenheimer are wagering that their respective hometown will win the finals. The losing city's COO will have to go to the winner's city and work a busy three-hour lunch shift in a  "superfan" uniform designed by the winning city's home office.

Good Stock

Limited-service companies enjoyed a big year on the stock market in 2013.

Pollo Tropical parent Fiesta Restaurant Group topped quick serve stock prices.
Pollo Tropical parent company Fiesta Restaurant Group was the best performing quick-serve stock last year.

During any given year, a restaurant company that records a 50 percent increase in its stock price could expect to crow pretty loudly about the accomplishment. But even that type of gain wasn’t good enough to crack the top 10 among publicly held limited-service restaurant operators in 2013, as equities market soared.

“It’s been a very good year for the market and for many restaurant companies,” says R.J. Hottovy, a dining industry analyst at Chicago’s investment firm Morningstar. “There were some pockets of weakness, but most restaurant [stock] values have had good gains.”

Taco Cabana Rings In 35 Years By Restoring Original Unit

Thirty-five years ago, Taco Cabana opened its first restaurant in Midtown San Antonio. Soon, that original location will be the center of attention as Taco Cabana celebrates 35 years as the “Original Mexican Patio Café” and the grand re-opening of its newly remodeled first location.  

To commemorate the milestone, Taco Cabana will offer fans its signature bean and cheese taco at a special throwback price.