Chronic Tacos has 12 years of Perfecting its taste. Now it's Set to Blossom with a Proven Franchise Model.
"I actually did notice a difference in ingredients and taste. I go for something fresh tasting and not greasy," said Michael, now the CEO of Chronic Tacos and a resident in Dana Point where he lives with his wife and two children. "In Canada, you didn't have a lot of great Mexican options. The taste reminded me of the visits I had made to California, so it had a link or connection."
The company turned to franchising in 2006 but by the time Michael's taste buds were sold on the concept in 2012, his business intellect knew a refining from top to bottom was necessary. A restaurant concept needs excellent food and an excellent experience for franchise owners and customers.
"Our goal was to have hundreds of stores so we needed a franchise model that made us look like we were already operating hundreds of stores."
The first shops had a surfy feel and Michael said they moved from a beach feel into a design that's edgy and balanced with local appeal while maintaining an underlying California vibe. Chronic Tacos uses red tones, gray, and black to feature a Day of the Dead theme. The concept is customizing one's taco and celebrates individuality with affordable price points. Tacos range from $2.49 to $2.99 and burrito sell for $ 5.99 to $ 6.75.
Up to 20 stores will open in 2016 in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Washington State, and North Carolina. Southern California residents can expect several more stores in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in the next two years and another eight to open in San Diego County.
Agreements with the frachisees call for multiple units to open in the locations. Michael said Chronic Taco franchisees have a proven system that strives for "operational excellence." Franchisees should expect to invest between $300,000 to $500,000.
He expects to be at 100 stores within the next few years, yet the growth has to be measured.
"People love our concept. Authenticity is our hallmark. We're not just 'doing this' as a business. The recipes are generations old and we didn't sit in a boardroom and roll this out. Everything we've done has evolved. You can't all of a sudden 'be this' so trial and error is not a bad thing. Our focus group has been customer input since 2002. They know when it's not real."
Chronic Tacos was their first venture into the restaurant space and while it's been hard work, it's also been fun. "You get to use all sides of your brain," says Michael.