Rusty Taco, a street-style taco restaurant known for its fresh ingredients and flavorful menu, is lighting the development flames in 2024. Several new restaurant openings are contributing to the brand’s growing footprint, which includes a projected total of 14 new units by year-end. Recent openings in both streetside settings and nontraditional venues have marked significant milestones for Rusty Taco, integral to the brand’s strategic growth plans. With more than 30 locations currently open, the addition of 14 new units signifies a 40% increase in growth and a monumental achievement for the brand. 

“There’s no better way to spend time with your loved ones than to relax and eat tacos,” said Denise Fenton, Co-Founder and Brand Director of Rusty Taco. “Our brand brings an approachable street-taco experience that can be a part of any community. Our recent and upcoming openings allow us to reach more guests in both new and existing markets and we are excited about our growth in the year ahead and beyond.”

This past April, Rusty Taco reopened its Dubuque, Iowa, location under new ownership, making the restaurant a staple in the community once again. Soon after, the brand made its debut in Atlanta with an opening in Summerhill. This is the first of two highly-anticipated restaurants coming to Georgia with the second location opening in Decatur by late summer. Rusty Taco also expanded its existing market presence, recently opening a new restaurant in Pleasant View, Utah, in June. To cap off the year, Rusty Taco will open a new location in Rockford, Illinois, under the same ownership as the Dubuque restaurant group with additional expansion plans throughout Illinois.

“We are thrilled to be growing the Rusty Taco brand with proven restaurant operators in new markets,” said Daniel Smith, who was recently announced as President of Rusty Taco in June. “It is an exciting time at Rusty Taco, with so many restaurants coming to new communities. We are dialed in on our traditional and non-traditional expansion plans, seeking interested franchisees who want to take advantage of our room for growth and strong community appeal.”  

In addition to developing in local neighborhoods, Rusty Taco is focused on non-traditional development. The brand recently locked in a partnership with Good 2 Go Eats, LLC, a convenience store chain with 75 locations. The first Rusty Taco inside a Good 2 Go store opened in Ammon, Idaho, in 2023, followed by the signing of an additional eight units. A new location opened in Herriman, Utah, in April 2024, with more units planned for Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado. These on-the-go restaurant formats are all expected to be open inside the Good 2 Go stores by the end of the year.

Beyond the convenience store model, Rusty Taco has established a proof of concept in other non-traditional formats, including experience in university dining and a spot in Concourse D of Dulles International Airport in Virginia. Rusty Taco also has a concessions location at Salt River Fields, the spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.

Rusty Taco stands out because of its emphasis on affordability and freshness, providing operators with comprehensive support and tailored marketing strategies. With each location offering a local feel through its hands-on owners, Rusty Taco appeals to those seeking authentic experiences. The brand is looking for experienced operators who have a love for the food industry and an understanding of business ownership. To further support its growth and operations, Rusty Taco has opened a new headquarters in Plano, Texas. Current franchise growth is targeted in key states like Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Florida.

Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, News, Rusty Taco