Taco John’s International is taking another step toward its goal of expanding the size of the Mexican quick-service restaurant chain. Twenty years after its last revision, Taco John's finalized a new franchise agreement that will help both existing and new franchisees grow.

"If you’re shopping around, looking for a brand to invest in, we want you to know Taco John’s is an extremely competitive brand for a franchisee," says Jeff Linville, chief executive officer for Taco John’s. “We’ve standardized our franchise development procedures, simplified the franchise fee structure, and modernized how marketing dollars are spent.”

Linville says Taco John’s took the unique approach of sitting down with a group of restaurant owners and working together on the new franchise agreement. He believes the result is a balanced agreement that remains franchisee-friendly.

“No. 1: We are reducing some fees and capping others,” Linville says. “No. 2 is simplifying the franchise fees payment structure. That is a big win for our franchisees. No. 3: We’re adding a two-mile right of first refusal area to the two-mile protected territories we already grant to franchisees. That’s very unique.”

When Linville became the CEO for Taco John’s in April, he says he had three main priorities for his first year: establish a new franchise agreement, oversee the update of the franchise disclosure document, and develop a three- to five-year strategic plan. He says all three priorities are on track to be completed before the end of 2013.

“We feel very good that we’ll be able to successfully grow this brand,” Linville says.

Earlier this month, Taco John’s launched a new franchise incentive plan to further spark development. Named “Let’s Go,” the program will deliver up to $40,000 in savings through reduced franchise fees, money for point-of-sale equipment, and a corporate contribution toward grand opening advertising.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Taco John's