Del Taco Poised for Nationwide Expansion: Thriving public QSR seeks qualified franchisees to grow with brand

Del Taco, the second largest Mexican quick-service restaurant chain, is poised for strategic nationwide expansion following its recent acquisition and transition into a publicly traded company. The brand has also continued its “UnFreshing Believable” commitment to elevate the QSR experience by providing guests with fresh, made-to-order food typically associated with fast-casual restaurants, but served at the speed, convenience, and value expected from the quick-service segment.

With nearly 550 locations in 16 states, Del Taco has an incredibly loyal following and a strong brand presence across the western US, where the company was founded more than 50 years ago. “As a public company, we are poised for steady expansion from coast to coast,” says Laura Tanaka, director of franchise development at Del Taco. “We are already seeing significant growth in 2016 with developments signed throughout the South and the Northeast.”

About 45 percent of Del Taco’s restaurants are franchised. “Because Del Taco operates more than 300 company stores, we are likeminded with our franchise partners in that we are heavily focused on bottom-line profit, not just top-line sales, which is not typically found in franchise systems,” Tanaka says. “We believe in our brand; we streamline operations to be efficient; we test and prove ROI for new items in our own stores before asking franchise partners to invest.” Del Taco’s strategy includes opening corporate stores first in new markets, then filling in the territory with franchise developments.

This year brings considerable opportunity for the brand to strengthen its position in the fast-growing quick-service food category. “We’re proud to report that our franchisees are seeing consistent returns, well above current industry standards,” Tanaka says. “Our steady sales growth is a direct reflection of our talented franchise partners. It is also a result of our ability to work ahead of the trends in order to provide products unlike anything else offered in our industry. From premium platforms like fresh, sliced avocado and handcrafted Ensaladas, to offering up to 16 unbeatable value options on Del Taco’s Buck & Under menu, our formula is resonating with guests and franchisees alike.”

Del Taco is actively seeking qualified individuals and groups in new and existing territories throughout the United States, who are interested in a minimum two-store commitment. They must have access to at least $500,000 in liquid capital and have a combined minimum net worth of $1 million. The ideal candidate should have experience in the restaurant or retail industry and must be able to efficiently oversee day-to-day operations.

Once a new franchisee is on board, Del Taco provides extensive in-store and corporate classroom training. The company then sends teams into the field to train crews before the opening, and is extremely hands-on throughout grand opening activities and beyond to set franchisees up for success. “Our motto is, ‘One Team, One Voice, One Partnership,’” says Tanaka—and the company makes every effort to practice this in all areas of the business.

Del Taco also supports franchisees by assigning them franchise business consultants. Beyond the opening, the consultants offer operations and financial coaching. “We are in this together with our franchisees,” Tanaka says.

For more information about franchising opportunities with Del Taco, visit