Pancheros, a fast-casual Mexican franchise known for its better-built, customizable burritos, named 90-year-old entrepreneur and franchise veteran Bob Thomson the recipient of the 2016 Franchisee of the Year Award. Based in Charles City, Iowa, Thomson was lauded for maintaining a superior level of service and growth at his three Pancheros locations.
Thomson caught the franchising bug in 1958 and has since owned a number of stores across the travel, retail and restaurant industries, with his foray into the fast-casual business beginning in 1990 with Subway. Nearly two years ago, Thomson, impressed by the reputation of Pancheros’ executive team, called up the headquarters, purchased the Golden Valley store and began his relationship with the nationally expanding Iowa staple. Thomson then went on to buy his second location in Bloomington, and in 2016, expanded his burrito empire to Fridley, Minnesota. Looking forward, he now has plans to open an additional 15 locations throughout the Twin Cities market.
“Bob is an excellent example of what we look for in a franchisee at Pancheros,” says Rodney Anderson, president of Pancheros Mexican Grill. “His experience, wisdom and ability to bring a smile to every face are all factors that make him such a valuable partner and friend, and we are absolutely thrilled to have him as part of the team.”
With a knack for community building and a wealth of business acumen, Thomson leads his Pancheros franchises to provide quality experiences, service and product to each of his customers. His devotion to his employees and untiring enthusiasm combined with an unstoppable entrepreneurial drive has resulted not only in success, but also a continued desire to lead and provide for his friends, family and community.
“I am honored to be Pancheros’ Franchisee of the Year and certainly would not be accepting this award if it weren’t for my incredible employees, the receptive leadership team and my family who have always been by my side,” says Thomson. “I have been blown away by the reputation that Pancheros has with its customers, both regulars and newcomers, and I am very proud to be part of this fun, growing brand.”