Hot off the heels of announcing nationwide expansion plans, California Tortilla, a fast-casual Mexican-inspired restaurant franchise, has signed an agreement to bring its fresh, made-to-order dishes and innovative restaurant concept to Raleigh. This deal marks the brand’s first expansion into North Carolina.
Planning to open late 2018, California Tortilla is currently looking for available retail locations throughout Raleigh/Durham. This franchise agreement aligns with the brand’s overall strategy to bring its unique flavors and chef-created menu to guests across the country. California Tortilla expects to open 10 units over the next five years in North Carolina’s metropolitan areas including Raleigh, Durham-Chapel Hill and Charlotte, and seeks qualified franchise partners to further cement the brand as a fast-casual dining leader on the Eastern side of the United States.
“North Carolina has seen tremendous growth over the past few years, and we’re excited to begin development across the state. With an affordable cost of living, strong retail opportunities and a growing population, North Carolina’s major metropolitan markets are extremely appealing to us,” says Jim Tisack, vice president of Franchise Development at California Tortilla. “The Raleigh area has expressed a desire for a greater variety of fast-casual restaurants, so we are thrilled to spice up the community’s food scene with our bold flavors and unique menu items.”
According to the Carolina Democratic Population Center, North Carolina’s population has seen its highest year-over-year growth since 2010. Additionally, Raleigh was recently named one of the top cities for Millennials to live in 2017, ranked 17 out of 228.
Currently operating 50 locations across the mid-Atlantic region and three in Qatar, California Tortilla serves made-to-order burritos, bowls, street tacos, quesadillas and salads. Each restaurant is dedicated to serving farm-fresh, never frozen ingredients and everything is hand prepared in small batches daily in scratch cook kitchens. The innovative menu, grounded in a foundation of Mexican cuisine, features 25 unique chef-created dishes, such as the Korean BBQ Burrito, Blackened Fish Tacos and California Sunset Bowl. Every California Tortilla features a Wall-of-Flame, a towering display of 75 distinct hot sauces, ranging from mild to tongue-melting, allowing guests to further customize the flavor and heat level of their meal.
“Mexican is the top producing segment of the booming fast-causal restaurant industry. We’re responding to consumer demand and aggressively expanding to new areas across the country,” adds Tisack. “We are actively seeking franchise partners dedicated to growing our fun brand throughout North Carolina and beyond.”
The total initial investment to open a California Tortilla ranges from $412,700-$708,800. California Tortilla seeks franchise partners in new markets and markets where the brand is already present for multi- and single- unit agreements. The brand is targeting growth in large metropolitan areas and suburban locations in strip malls. It also has several locations in non-traditional venues such as airports, college campuses and mall food courts and is looking for these development opportunities as well. California Tortilla expects to open a total of 10 new units over the next year.