Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, the popular fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain known for its depth of authentically inspired menu choices, is looking to outpace results from its successful 2015 as the brand continues to expand throughout the U.S. in 2016.      

Twenty-fifteen proved to be a pivotal year that saw restaurant industry veteran Phil Friedman take greater control of daily Salsarita’s operations as CEO. The well-known industry “turn-around artist” has plans for both company and franchise growth that took hold in 2015, which will continue to bear fruit in 2016 and beyond. Nine new units opened in 2015, with planned openings for Lewisville, Tyler, Plano, and Ft. Worth, Texas; West Columbia, South Carolina; Madison and Tupelo, Mississippi; Madison, Alabama; Charlotte, Brevard, and Asheville, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Omaha, Nebraska in 2016.

Additionally, building on the momentum of opening its successful new prototype, Salsarita’s is continuing to add to their new restaurant brick-and-mortar image that offers a cleaner and more modern look. In 2016, Salsarita’s will also be focusing on its fresh food made-to-order initiative, new menu design, and LTOs.

On the growth side, focus will continue to be on signing new multiunit franchisees, many of whom are already in the company pipeline or have expressed interest in partnering with Salsarita’s due to Friedman’s leadership and the new look and plans for the future of the brand.

Ten new restaurants are already planned for 2016 and in different stages of development currently. At least an additional five locations are planned as well for 2016. Two new corporate locations will be among those opening in 2016 bringing the total of corporate units in operation to 13. This, Friedman says, represents a high mark for the restaurant chain since his acquisition in 2011 and a pivotal step in the continued evolution of the brand that turns 16 years old this year.

“Salsarita’s is now in the perfect position to support both company and franchisee expansion properly for years to come. Franchisee interest throughout 2015 and so far this year is proof enough of that,” Friedman says. “The confidence franchisees have expressed in us is tremendously telling of where Salsarita’s stands in the industry as an opportunity for sustained growth.” 

Salsarita’s restaurants can be found at universities, airports, corporate headquarters, and standalone locations across the country. In 2014, Salsarita’s introduced its new prototype layout at its Indian Land, South Carolina, location and in a new franchise opening in South Haven, Mississippi. The nine restaurants opened in 2015 all implemented the new design with great success.

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