With bright new store redesigns, Del Taco’s branding now matches its fresh-made food.

It can be tricky to put a finger on what exactly makes a restaurant brand iconic. In the case of Del Taco, you’ll know it when you taste the food and now when you see their restaurants.  

Del Taco, which boasts more than 600 locations making it the nation’s second largest Mexican quick-service restaurant by number of units, made some big moves in the right direction in 2021. From signing multiple new franchise deals to unveiling and opening a first-of-its-kind prototype, the brand is poised to be highly sought after when it comes to franchise development.

“2021 was a big year in terms of growth and development for us. Not only did our team sign nine new multi-unit deals committing to 68 future locations, we also opened our very first Fresh Flex restaurant in Orlando, which was a major tentpole moment for the brand,” says John D. Cappasola, president and CEO of Del Taco. “Fresh Flex is a fantastic representation of our brand through the asset and an introduction to our Menu of Venues model, which opens up a ton of opportunity for our franchisees to explore a variety of different real estate and select a layout that fits just about any space. The flexibility and scalability of this business model has been a major driver in terms of signing new deals with franchisees.”

In addition to its Fresh Flex format focusing on convenience and kitchen efficiency, the new, more modern space offers an updated look with bright Del Taco green towers that literally glow against contrasting white and grey walls. The newly updated aesthetic is synonymous with Del Taco’s dedication to freshness in the kitchen. 

Additionally, the layouts are fully tech enabled with dedicated third-party delivery pickup stations, dual drive-thru lanes, or park-and-eat stalls for guests looking to eat on the go. No matter the layout, the kitchen itself stays the same. This makes it easier for staff to work at different stores without the headaches of different kitchen setups in every location.

“Fresh Flex and our Menu of Venues model is a game changer for franchisees in terms of efficiency and flexibility,” says Jeff Little, senior vice president of development. “In fact, we’re incredibly excited to share that all 68 upcoming locations are expected to be Fresh Flex restaurants, which is a true testament to the successful design and the flexibility of the model.”

The brand’s Menu of Venues strategy allows franchisees to choose a traditional layout (2,000–2,300 square feet depending on dining room size), a drive-thru only building, a conversion, or an endcap drive thru.

“Our goal is to continue growing in the Southeast region with franchisees that share our values for dedication to quality food, customer service, and respect for employees,” Cappasola says.

Del Taco’s unique QSR+ positioning within the Mexican quick-service segment, and non-traditional growth capability presents great growth potential for experienced multi-unit operators and private equity firms looking to diversify portfolios. With development areas open across the U.S., Del Taco is continuing to seek multi-unit operators who are looking for the opportunity to claim a territory and grow alongside the company.

For more information about franchising opportunities with Del Taco, visit deltacofranchise.com.

By Davina van Buren

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