QDOBA Mexican Eats announced the opening of its 400th franchise location. A testament to the joint success of QDOBA and its franchisee community, the landmark opening underscores the brand’s dynamic development strategy to expand to 2,000 units. QDOBA’s growth will be fueled by blending a mix of current franchisees expanding their portfolios, new franchisee acquisition and corporate development.
QDOBA’s 400th franchise restaurant had its grand opening on January 19 in Brighton, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit in the northwest corner of the market known for its lively dining and entertainment scene. The modernized QDOBA embraces Brighton’s vibe and features several of the recent innovations, including a new drive thru format and the brand’s updated interior and exterior designs. The opening marks the 15th QDOBA for Southwind Restaurant Group, the franchisee owner/operator team that began franchising with the concept in 2005.
“We were one of QDOBA’s earliest franchisees, so it means a lot to us to be a part of this celebrated opening,” says Greg Johnroe of Southwind Restaurant Group. “Of all the restaurants we’ve done, this one is special to us. The state-of-the-art drive-thru and streamlined kitchen layout are designed to give our customers new ways to engage with our freshly-prepared menu. We couldn’t be prouder to be a part of QDOBA and are excited to continue growing with the Brand.”
Southwind Restaurant Group’s Johnroe and Kevin Egnatuk have 20-plus years of restaurant franchise experience, including owning and operating 19 Burger King locations in Michigan. “What initially attracted us to QDOBA was the quality of the food,” added Egnatuk. “We were lucky enough to eat at an early franchise location in Grand Rapids. From that point on, we knew we wanted to be a part of the Brand.”
“Talented and experienced franchisees like Greg, Kevin and their team are what make us who we are,” says Peter Ortiz, vice president of franchise development for QDOBA. “We are constantly working with our franchisees to create new ways to improve the customer experience, and we are proud that our 400th location is one that embodies many of our latest innovations.”
Given Southwind Restaurant Group’s extensive restaurant industry experience, it is well equipped to help pioneer a new era of enhanced restaurant design and operations for QDOBA. QDOBA recently unveiled new restaurant footprints built to fuel the 740-unit brand’s multi-unit growth in the years ahead. Many of the newly introduced concepts are designed to grow off-premise sales, including ghost kitchen formats and smaller takeout footprints as low as 1,000 square feet developed with high-rent urban areas in mind. Notably, restaurants with drive-thrus can enter spaces as low as 1,200 square feet.
As QDOBA continues to expand throughout the United States, it is actively seeking qualified multi-unit and multi-segment groups with experience in development strategy and focused on diversifying with a bold concept.