The independent quick-casual Mexican chain, Taco Del Mar, opened its 250th restaurant on Wednesday in Keizer, Oregon, franchised by Gwen Felkins under Oregon Master Developer Jeff Masterjohn. Taco Del Mar plans to open 100 new restaurants throughout 2007, and seems to be on track to meet that goal.

“The success of Taco Del Mar begins with the restaurant vision of its founders James (current CEO) and John Schmidt in 1992, and is carried out with the commitment and enthusiasm of each of our franchisees,” said Taco Del Mar President David Huether. “We’ve evolved carefully and listened to what the customers want, and through that process, our great tasting food, friendly service, and engaging atmosphere have remained steadfast despite our rapid growth.”

As Taco Del Mar has moved from its Northwest cluster of restaurants to the far reaches of North America over the past four years, it has quadrupled its unit count, streamlined the way it proliferates restaurants using a Master Developer system of regional franchisors, and partnered with vendors who can help make the store build-out process easier and cost effective for its franchisees. Internally, it created a team of Regional Brand Directors, located at strategic points across the county to work closely with the Master Developers and Franchisees as the brand is implemented in new and emerging markets.

Supporting its expansion, Taco Del Mar recently underwent a re- branding effort, including a multi-million dollar campaign that focuses on the restaurant’s food and “high quality, wholesome ingredients.” Its outreach includes a multi-market television media buy and system-wide local store marketing efforts, direct mail pieces and in-store point of purchase materials. The new campaign tagline “Delicious is our middle name,” plays off the “Del” in Taco Del Mar and spotlights the brand of the restaurant’s Mexican-inspired meals.

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