At Del Taco quality and freshness add up to a value that customers have appreciated for more than 40 years. It’s an equation that resonates with customers wherever Del Taco grows.
“Our brand of quality and fresh products served at an unbelievable price makes for a great value equation for consumers as well as franchisees,” says CEO Paul Murphy. “We have real working kitchens. Food is prepared at each location from scratch, every day. We grate cheese fresh daily from a 40-pound block of cheddar. We make pinto beans from scratch three or four times a day. We handle chicken like a fast-casual restaurant, grilling fresh all day long. That is just not something you see in the fast-food business.”
All that, Murphy says, positions Del Taco in the market to be the place consumers turn to as they take a hard look at both their budgets and at the food they choose to eat.
“We are focusing more on educating people about what we do in our kitchens and the effort we take to prepare our food. We have always made food fresh, but we haven’t always received credit for that,” he says. “Our new remodel effort includes food cues and freshness cues in the art and design. We put the writing on the wall about the care we take in preparing our great tasting Mexican and American menu for our customers.”
Fresh food paired with strong value is Del Taco’s brand differentiator, Murphy adds. “Our research confirms that this is important to consumers. We communicate this point of differentiation through all branded touch-points, from points inside the restaurants to communications with crew members, to touch-points in marketing, advertising and social media. This message is key to not only driving transactions and sales, but also to making Del Taco a part of the conversation in the community, particularly in new markets.”
"We can be more nimble than larger brands and respond better to franchisee needs, making Del Taco a great choice."
Del Taco plans new franchise growth in Alabama, California’s Central Valley, Colorado’s Western Slope, the Columbus, Georgia, and Houston markets, with corporate store growth in Austin, Texas, Oklahoma, and Atlanta, building business through a hub-and-spoke approach.
The best franchise candidates for Del Taco have financial wherewithal and good operations experience. “We need to know they can deliver a great experience at the restaurant. We want to partner with franchisees we know will help us deliver our brand promise,” says Murphy.
Del Taco offers comprehensive training, and both franchisor store operators and franchise partners go through the program. The company guides franchisees through site selection, construction, and business planning, then sends a team to assist with openings. After opening, franchisees work with Del Taco’s franchise business consultants. “We seek to constantly improve operations. We go through continuous learning and development, always asking ourselves how to raise the bar, striving for a better experience,” says Murphy.
To keep communications open between the company and franchisees, Del Taco’s support center teams meet regularly with franchisees for open-ended discussions. “We want to make sure every system and process works well for the franchisor and franchisee,” says Murphy.
“We are still about 56 percent company-owned, which serves us well,” he adds. “We are the largest franchisee. Of course as the franchisor, our goal is healthy top-line sales, but as a franchisee, we are just as concerned about bottom-line profitability. This healthy balance has served us and our franchisees well.”
Del Taco is a smaller company than other franchise choices out there, but that gives the company a more entrepreneurial spirit and makes it more aggressive about growth. “We can be more nimble than larger brands,” Murphy says, “and respond better to franchisee needs, making Del Taco a great choice.”
For more information about franchising opportunities with Del Taco, visit www.deltaco.com