Taco Taco Café, a restaurant located in San Antonio, the self-proclaimed “taco capital of the world,” is a standout in the crowded space with multiple “Best Tacos” awards and a featured stint on The Food Network.

Since joining forces with Fransmart—the franchise development company behind booming brands such as Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Qdoba Mexican Grill, and zpizza—it has recently signed its first franchise deal: A multiunit development deal for North Carolina, which will mark not only its franchising debut, but also its first location outside its home state of Texas.

The new locations will serve as an addition to its wildly popular first location, and a second company location it’s currently selecting real estate for.  

Its first franchise partners, Shashin Desai and team, have signed on for development in the Triangle area in North Carolina, including the cities of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Cary. The first location is slated to open, pending site selection, by early 2013. 

The brand is currently working to find real estate and sign a lease as soon as possible, and plan to develop one store every 18 months subsequently.

Desai and his partners bring years of business and franchise experience to Taco Taco Café, including extensive experience in developing and operating multiple national quick-serve concepts. 

After noticing online that Taco Taco Café was named “Best Tacos in America” by Bon Appetit magazine and seeing its episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with Guy Fieri on The Food Network, he was intrigued by what the brand had to offer. 

He was completely convinced of its distinction after visiting San Antonio, where he met with its talented management team and sampled its extraordinary food.

“I’m excited to provide the Triangle with authentic Mexican cuisine,” Desai says. “Taco Taco Café brings something unique to the market, something that no other restaurant is providing. People are going to go crazy when they try this food.” 

Taco Taco Café makes all of its food fresh daily, using homemade recipes created by owner/chef Helen Velesiotis. 

Desai says the concept will flourish because it offers food of a much higher quality compared with what other Mexican concepts in the area offer. “There is no comparison,” he says.

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