To learn more about Taco Bueno Franchise development plans and opportunities, please contact our Franchise Department.
Vice President of Franchise Development
Taco Bueno Restaurants L.P.
1605 LBJ Freeway
Farmers Branch, TX 75234
Starting in 1967 in Abilene Texas, we have been making fresh Tex-Mex the right way for over 48 years.
The food makes the difference. We make our Tex-Mex fresh daily using real ingredients prepared by real cooks in real kitchens. Today’s customers are demanding food that is authentic, that uses real ingredients and is cooked fresh. Taco Bueno has been doing just that for 48 years.
We position the brand as a QSR Plus concept – great food, prepared fresh in the restaurant yet still available through the drive-thru. Approximately two-thirds of our business is drive-thru.
We have over 175+ locations across seven states – Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri and Arkansas.
Taco Bueno is Tex-Mex Made Fresh.
At Taco Bueno, we continue to make Tex-Mex the right way. We prepare our signature refried beans the traditional way – taking more than 30 hours to cook, chill and re-fry our beans from scratch. We flame-grill our chicken and steak. We fry our taco shells and chips, and we make our guacamole and salsas fresh multiple times a day. Taco Bueno restaurants have a fresh salsa bar where guests can customize their orders to their liking. Taco Bueno’s fresh preparation makes us different than many other Mexican QSR brands.
Our food has a unique flavor profile thanks to our authentic Tex-Mex recipes. You can see the menu here: www.tacobueno.com/menu
Taco Bueno offers building plans that are designed to maximize revenue potential, keep building costs low, and help franchisees take advantage of a variety of locations. About 2/3rds of our revenue comes through the drive-thru window, so Taco Bueno has designed restaurants to optimize drive-thru performance while reducing the size of the dining room and overall footprint. Multi-unit owners will likely use a mix of these buildings to take advantage of the best real estate options in their prospective market. Here’s a look at a traditional drive through location.
Traditional free-standing location with Drive Thru
Site and Demographic Characteristics
Lot Size: 0.7 to 0.9 acres
High Visibility, Excellent Accessibility
Building Size: 2,200 to 2,850 sq. ft.
Population: Minimum 15,000
Drive-Thru Access and 55-83 Seats
Nearby Daytime Employees: Minimum 5,000
Parking ratio: 1 space for every 2 seats
Minimum Household Income: $60,000
End Cap Design with Drive Thru
For high-traffic areas where traditional freestanding development is not an option, we also have an end cap with drive-thru option for strip centers in front of big-box retailers, grocery anchored centers, and other venues.
Taco Bueno also supports nontraditional locations like casinos, student center dining halls and sports venues. The costs and layouts vary by location but are typically smaller and less costly than our freestanding and end-cap layouts.
Taco Bueno is growing in existing territories and in other parts of the U.S.
Taco Bueno has a strong regional presence in the Texas and Oklahoma markets with strong brand recognition and a loyal following. We are also located in other states including: Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Arkansas. When residents move to other parts of the country, they often write us to ask, “When are you going to open a Taco Bueno here?”
The opportunity is especially ripe for multi-unit investors who are eager to harness the growing popularity of Mexican food and grow a new brand in a thriving market. Taco Bueno already has over a 175+ locations in seven states. We’ve fought head-to-head battles against our rivals in Mexican QSR, and we know how to carve our own niche and win loyal guests.
What do Taco Bueno’s franchisees say about the brand?
I have been a franchisee of the Taco Bueno Brand for over 10 years. I was one of the originals. For the past 25 years, I also have been a Burger King franchisee operating 26 restaurants in the state of Oklahoma. Being in the branded concept business all my life, you learn very quickly that that the partnerships you form with your franchisor is critical to preventing barriers to your business performance.
The support and communication I received and continue to receive from Taco Bueno started with our very first restaurant and hasn't changed in our 10 year relationship. From the quality of the product, to the design of the building you can feel the teams passion for getting it right, and our customers agree!!
The investment that I have made in the Taco Bueno Brand has proven to be the right choice for me. It's not just about the franchise fees at Bueno, it's about partnering together to make a great brand even better.
Managing Partner, Quality Brand Management LLC
Our most loyal customers describe themselves as “BuenoHeads.” They have grown up with our brand. In many cases, our customers have been going to our restaurants for their entire lives and are now bringing their children and even grandchildren to the restaurants. As of July 2015 we currently have roughly 300,000 members in our email club and social channels – and growing.
Taco Bueno has a loyal following — even in areas we haven’t yet reached!
Taco Bueno has been successful in creating legions of fans that are self-described as “Buenoheads.” We actively work to grow this base of fans through our Buenohead E-Mail Club and our social channels including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Franchisees contribute 5% of gross sales to the marketing fund. In return the franchisee receives the merchandising and advertising creating by the company’s marketing department. Depending on the market, the marketing team works with each franchise group to either include the franchisee in the marketing initiatives of an existing market or develop a localized plan for outlying restaurants. The company’s goal is to ensure that the restaurants receive a fair share for their marketing contributions.
Our core business is driven by new food news.
Food news can be an existing menu item, a line extension of the core menu or an entirely new limited time offer.
We promote new food news three to four times a year, and the items are developed by internal and external resources who constantly connect with our core customers and those of our competition.
Menu ideation and development is consumer driven. Guidelines are provided by the brand positioning “Tex-Mex Made Fresh.” Our marketing calendars are created in advance to allow sufficient time to develop the products and execute market tests.
The Taco Bueno marketing team includes a Franchise Marketing Manager who works with the franchise community to ensure they are well-informed on all marketing plans and have the tools and support they need.
Taco Bueno produces television ads and direct mails programs that franchisees can use to drive brand awareness and trial. In the future, franchisees may be required to join an advertising co-op to finance local advertising in certain DMAs.
Taco Bueno also has strong social communities including our e-mail club. Customers sign up for offers, and we engage with those customers every week.
For grand openings, your restaurant will receive support in media, direct mail, as well as through social channels and public relations.
Experienced restaurant operators provide support for franchisees
Taco Bueno offers extensive support to franchise owners. As outlined in the FDD, as you prepare to open your first restaurant, you will have a Development Coordinator, Marketing, Training Team support and our VP of Franchise Operations assigned to work closely with you to navigate the process of launching, equipping, staffing, and operating the unit. At your grand opening, you will have the support of 6-8 certified training team members who will spend 5 days training new crew members and approximately 5 days of support after the opening.
Rolando Allen, our Vice President of Franchise Operations, has a team of experienced operators who are available to help franchisees manage various aspects of their business. Rolando helps new Taco Bueno franchisees set up their restaurant and quickly navigate our systems and vendor relationships to get the help they need.
“Taco Bueno has a lot of resources available, and a lot of vendors that you tap into as you set up your restaurant and get ready to open. Our VP of Franchise Operations and his team give new franchisees a single point of contact so they can get a lot accomplished very efficiently while they are still learning the business.”
When you join Taco Bueno, you’ll get to know our Development, Operations, Marketing and Training Teams very well. We begin working with franchisees about six to twelve months before their targeted opening date.
“Once you join the franchise system “We have a detailed timeline for when different activities need to be done and use a very useful chart to track the phases of your project and help keep everything on track.”
A team member dedicated to helping new franchisees
Fasika Melaku is our VP of Training. Fasika and her team coordinate training for franchisees and their managers. Our management training program includes 30 hours of classroom training as well as 330 hours of on-the-job training in one of our certified training stores. For your first restaurant, we will provide 6-8 certified training team members to assist you and your managers with the opening of the restaurant.
The operational backgrounds of our franchise operations team means that they aren’t just standing there with a clipboard, enforcing policies and procedures when they visit stores. “We know how to work the fryers and serve the guests, and we’ll show your employees how it’s done. If your store gets busy while we’re visiting, we’re not going to just stand there with a clipboard; we’re going to start making great food!”
The Franchise Operations Team also helps franchisees study food costs, labor costs and the key measurables in the restaurant. Our POS system allows franchisees to track labor and food issues and drill down to see the details when the need arises. The Franchise Operations Team can assist in the process and make suggestions to help you maximize revenue and margins.
Our restaurants are backed by seasoned restaurant veterans.
President & CEO – Mike Roper
Mike joined Taco Bueno in 2013 rising from Chief Development Officer to President & CEO. Prior to joining Taco Bueno, Mike held multiple positions at Quizno’s including Chief Operating Officer. Earlier in his career he was a multi-unit franchisee for Quizno’s.
CFO – Philip Parsons
Mr. Parsons has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Taco Bueno Restaurants since October 2008. Before joining Taco Bueno, Mr. Parsons was a Partner with Tatum LLC, a national professional services firm from January 2006 to October 2008. While at Tatum, he served as Chief Financial Officer providing strategic and turnaround services for several companies including Magic Brands LLC, a $350 million restaurant holding company for the Fuddruckers and KooKooRoo brands, and Metromedia Restaurant Group, a $1 billion restaurant holding company for the Bennigan's, Ponderosa Steak & Ale and Bonanza Steakhouse brands.
CMO – Jeff Carl
Jeff joined Taco Bueno in 2013 as Chief Marketing Officer. Previously, he was CMO for Tavistock Restaurants’ 16 concepts including Freebirds World Burrito. Previously, Jeff was Corporate VP of Global Marketing and CMO of Latin America for McDonald’s Corporation. Earlier in his career, Jeff was Director of Marketing at Burger King Corporation.
SVP Operations & Development – Kenn Miller
Kenn joined Taco Bueno in 2013 to lead the Development Team. In 2015, he was promoted to SVP of Operations & Development. Prior to joining the company, Kenn served as SVP for Aspen Leaf Yogurt. Earlier in his career Kenn was a multi-unit franchisee of Quizno’s and later became the President of Quizno’s Area Developers of Kansas.
The following questions are some of the most commonly questions asked by prospective franchisees. If you have additional questions, give us a call at 800-263-9396.
What is an FDD?
FDD is an acronym for Franchise Disclosure Document. It is a federally mandated sales prospectus that provides detailed information about a franchise opportunity. Franchisors such as Taco Bueno are required to prepare and provide an FDD to franchise prospects absent an exemption. Certain individual states also require that the FDD be registered with the state on an annual basis. The FDD described generally the relationship between Taco Bueno and you, the franchisee, under the form of Development Agreement and/or Franchise Agreement you would sign with us. We will provide you with a copy of the FDD during the evaluation process for the Taco Bueno franchise opportunity.
What are the key steps for becoming a Taco Bueno franchisee?
- Submit a completed Application, including the requested documentation, to the Taco Bueno Franchise Department.
- Once your Application is approved, a member of our Franchise Development Team will contact you.
- You will also speak with a member of our Operations Team to discuss your plan for operating the franchise.
- We will mutually determine the trade areas you wish to develop and we will agree upon a development schedule.
- The proposed Development Agreement (DA) will be submitted to the Taco Bueno Leadership Team for approval.
- Once the executed DA and the required franchise fees are received, you will start to receive the real estate, construction, and operations support to help you develop your location.
What are the financial requirements?
In order to qualify for a single Taco Bueno location, you or your partnership must have $750,000 in documented liquid assets and a net worth in excess of $1,500,000. We will consider single and multi-unit commitments. For development commitments of 5 units or greater; the financial requirements will vary based on the proposed size and scope of the DA. In each circumstance, it is common for individuals to combine their resources and create partnerships to meet the financial qualifications.
How much money can I make?
Based upon Federal Trade Commission guidelines, we are precluded from providing earnings estimates or profit potential except in connection with specific disclosures made in our FDD. For our 2015 FDD, we provide sales and certain cost information for company-affiliated Taco Bueno restaurants. We also encourage prospective franchisees to conduct significant due diligence prior to committing to a new business venture. Existing Taco Bueno franchisees are an excellent source to answer questions. We provide a full list of our existing operators in our FDD as well as the specific sales/operating cost information noted above, which you will receive if we proceed with you to discuss the franchise opportunity.
What is my total estimated initial investment?
We offer a few different development options and the costs can vary based on venue, development type, geography, etc. We provide comprehensive investment ranges in the FDD. For our 2015 FDD, we estimate that the total investment necessary to begin operation of a Taco Bueno restaurant ranges from $1,039,500 to $2,342,850.
Does Taco Bueno offer financing?
We do not provide financing.
What type of experience do I need to run a Taco Bueno Restaurant?
Knowledge of food service is very helpful, but not required. Prior experience in business management is a key criterion. We can teach you the Taco Bueno way to manage a food business, but important traits for a franchisee include: finance and accounting knowledge, organizational skills, people skills, work ethic, enthusiasm, and adherence to the systems, standards and specifications of Taco Bueno.
Is Taco Bueno developing internationally?
No. We are concentrating our efforts on domestic U.S. development.
Can I open a Taco Bueno inside or adjoining a convenience store or travel plaza?
Does Taco Bueno require a drive thru?
We operate in the fast food category and a significant portion of our business is served through our drive-thru window. A drive-thru window is required in almost every circumstance.
Can I open a Taco Bueno inside a mall, airport, or college and university food court?
Yes. Of course, a drive-thru window is not required in these venues.
How long does it take to open a Taco Bueno restaurant?
From the date the Franchise Agreement is signed, it takes approximately eight to twelve months. But that is subject to venue type, availability of land, local permits and licenses, weather and other factors.
How much is the Franchise Fee?
The Franchise Fee for your first location is $35,000 and each subsequent location is $15,000. Additional information will be provided in the FDD.
How much is the monthly Royalty Fee?
The monthly Royalty Fee is five percent (5%) of Net Sales. Net Sales are the total receipts from all sales of the restaurant, after discounts, excluding sales tax. Additional information will be provided in the FDD.
What is the monthly Advertising & Marketing Fee?
Currently, a minimum of five percent (5%) of Net Sales is required for the Advertising Fund; Net Sales are the total receipts from all sales of the restaurant, after discounts, excluding sales tax. Additional information will be provided in the FDD.
How do I find a location?
We share mapping, demographics, and competitive sales data with our franchisees. Our Vice President of Development, whom has over 20+ years of experience in the Quick Service Restaurant industry, will meet with you and tour your area to provide guidance on our site criteria. Once a site is identified, you will complete a formal Site Package for our Real Estate committee to review.
How do I build my restaurant?
We provide our prototype construction plans in CAD format. One of our development team members will assist with site layouts and they will complete a pre-construction orientation, a construction in progress site visit and a final punch list for each new restaurant.
What are the training requirements for Taco Bueno?
We prefer that our franchisees are actively involved in their business, but you may designate employees to complete the training program. We require that at least three people complete our 360 hour total training program. The training will take place at our certified training restaurants. There is no additional fee for the training program, however the franchisee is responsible for travel, lodging and miscellaneous expenses for the trainees.
Taco Bueno’s historical operating performance has been impressive, demonstrating the ability to deliver solid financial results in both strong and weak economic environments. We will provide you certain operating results in our FDD.
From day one, we provide support in Operations, Training, Marketing and Development to bring new Franchise Partners up to speed with the Bueno Brand and ensure a smooth pre-opening process. After opening, our dedicated Operations and marketing support teams work with Franchisees to ensure operational excellence and to establish a marketing plan to attract customers with brand-building advertising and exciting new products.
If you’re looking for a franchise opportunity, you undoubtedly want to offer customers something unique. Something they can’t get next door. That’s why Taco Bueno is the perfect opportunity. A strong brand with a proven track record of offering premium restaurant quality at fast-food prices and convenience.
$1.5M net worth
$750,000 liquid assets
20% equity required
$35,000 first location/ $25,000 each additional location
Royalties & Advertising
5% Ad Fund contribution
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