Pancheros Mexican Grill is serving up a franchise expansion recipe that will soon spice up the fast-casual sector.
Known for its fresh-pressed tortillas and proprietary method for mixing burrito ingredients, Pancheros announced today its 2018 plans to conquer cravings in several new key markets and to bring additional franchise locations to markets surrounding the communities where it has already garnered local burrito loyalty.
“We're perfecting the burrito. Fresh ingredients, customized for every guest, and evenly mixed throughout the burrito—that's what sets us apart. When you walk into a Pancheros location, tradition goes out the window,” says Rodney Anderson, who founded Pancheros right out of college in 1992 and has successfully grown it to 70 locations. “Pancheros isn’t a burrito restaurant; it’s a culture built upon the best-tasting burritos in our category. To us, growing the brand doesn’t just mean adding more locations to the list. It’s an opportunity to grow our culture with the right people who share our belief that you don’t have to sacrifice quality for convenience.”
Building on the momentum of opening seven new locations in 2017, which included strong growth both within the Midwest and along the East Coast, Pancheros has several additional restaurants in its development pipeline to open in 2018. The first two of the year include openings in Spring House, Pa. and Davenport, Iowa. Plus, there are signed lease agreements already in place to open new locations several other markets this year. In sum, the brand anticipates adding seven to 10 more restaurants to its roster by the end of 2018 as it executes its franchising plan to ink multi- and single-unit agreements in several mid-sized markets throughout the Midwest, East Coast, and areas contiguous to existing markets.
“First and foremost, our franchisees believe in one simple truth—we do burritos better than anyone in the fast-casual restaurant space,” says Gary Matusiak, vice president of Franchise Development for Pancheros. “They’re passionate about the brand and the connection it makes with the communities they serve. And, the Pancheros business model maintains simplicity and a strong focus on unit economics. It’s the best of both worlds for our franchisees.”
After exploring Chicago’s food scene while attending graduate school at the University of Chicago, Anderson experienced firsthand the predicament that many restaurants were faced with—having to choose between quality and speed of service. Upon graduation, Anderson moved to Iowa City, Iowa and brought the Pancheros Mexican Grill concept to fruition in August of 1992 with a goal of developing a better burrito and a better preparation process. Menu items today are made to order with fresh ingredients and include favorites such as burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, tacos and more.
Following the success of the original downtown Iowa City restaurant, Anderson added several more company-operated locations over the brand’s first decade. With a proven model in place, Pancheros began franchising in 2004, marking the start of steady growth and notoriety for its fresh-pressed tortillas, proprietary mixing method and spatula (affectionately known as “Bob the Tool”), and queso with a cult-like following.
As Pancheros continues to grow its unique fast-casual concept and burrito-centric culture into targeted markets across the county, the brand is awarding franchise opportunities to qualified individuals who share the company’s vision, fit the culture, will follow the proven business model and are driven to succeed. Tailored to owners and operators with a background in owning or managing restaurants as well as diversifying entrepreneurs searching to branch out into the restaurant industry, the Pancheros franchise model provides structure and scalability for those who wish to enter the fast casual sector. Most notable of the franchise requirements – a love and passion for burritos.