Cilantro Taco Grill, the Mexican immigrant-founded fast casual restaurant with more than 15 locations throughout Chicago, has partnered with new investment partners to fuel the brand’s franchise growth. Armando Christian Perez (Pitbull) and Fransmart, the global leaders in franchise development will grow what they believe is the next generation of Mexican fast casual concepts to more than 1,000 units worldwide over the next 10 years, with initial efforts focused on the nation’s top 100 largest markets.
“I invested in Cilantro because I was inspired by Temoc and Gerardo Morfin’s stories of struggle and stride for a slice of the American pie,” says Perez. “I relate to those with an underdog mentality because I am also a person who fights and works hard for the American Dream.”
“Armando and I had been searching to find a Latin-owned restaurant with an incredible business model that we could help grow when we were introduced to Cilantro Taco Grill,” says Fransmart CEO Dan Rowe. “What Temoc and his family have built is not only the American dream, it’s a franchisee’s dream – just look at their FDD. Their stores averaged $1.4 million and $1,180 per square foot. Those numbers are huge. This is the next generation of Mexican food franchises.”
Cilantro Taco Grill was founded in 2013 by Temoc Morfin, who was inspired to bring the family’s treasured flavors and recipes to the masses by his father, ‘Don Javi’ Morfin. The family’s patriarch, his wife and 11 children immigrated to the USA despite all the dangers of travel, weather elements, and language barriers. The brand has been thriving since the first location opened in 2013, expanding to 15 total locations in the competitive Chicagoland market.
“We started the restaurant as a tribute to the dedication and love my father had for us and for food,” says Temoc Morfin, founder of Cilantro Taco Grill. “We started with recipes and flavors we’ve loved since we were kids and have built a brand that our customers trust as a source of authentic Mexican flavors. We know franchisees will love being a part of the family too, as we’ve worked tirelessly to build a business model that’s replicable and scalable in any major market.”
Cilantro Taco Grill is currently vetting qualified multi-unit owners to bring the authentic Mexican brand to their local market. Ideal franchisees have prior franchise experience and a passion for serving the classic, craveable flavors of Jalisco. Franchisees receive expert training and guidance from the Cilantro Taco Grill team, in addition to a high-end tech stack that features digital menu boards and a highly popular rewards program. Cilantro Taco Grill also features multiple revenue streams for franchisees with a popular catering program and bottles of their ultra-popular house salsa consistently flying off shelves.