August 14, 2008 // Franchising.com // (Charlotte, NC)---Salsarita's, Inc. is pleased to announce Charles Bruce as its new senior vice president of marketing and operations, effective immediately.
Charles is no stranger to the restaurant industry, holding senior management positions with major brands including Pizza Hut, Wendy's and Captain D's Seafood Restaurants. Charles' expertise in marketing and operations extends beyond the restaurant sector as well from his time with The Coleman Co., a leading manufacturer of outdoor sporting goods, and Value Place, one of the nation's fastest growing hotel chains. According to Paul Mangiamele, Salsarita's president and CEO, Charles is a welcome addition to the company as he builds a strong team to lead Salsarita's into the future.
"Charles is bringing an unparalleled knowledge and leadership to this new position and we are all very excited to welcome him aboard," said Mangiamele. "He will be working with our corporate team as well as our franchisees in the development and implementation of an integrated brand strategy to sustain and accelerate Salsarita's already impressive growth."
Charles concurs, stating, "I couldn't be happier to align myself with an organization like Salsarita's. Not only does it have a solid reputation but its future plans are just as, if not more, impressive and I am looking forward to playing an integral role in the company's continued success."
Founded in 2000, Salsarita's Fresh Cantina is one of the nation's fastest-growing, fast-casual Mexican restaurant chains, recognized for its people, food and world-class hospitality. Customers can create a delicious made-to-order meal from a flavorful healthy-Mexican menu that offers burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, tortilla-crust pizzas, enchiladas, soups and salads with a wide selection of meats, fresh vegetables and homemade salsas in a lively, family-friendly environment. Salsarita's currently has over 75 restaurants in 18 states and expects to end 2008 with about 100 locations toward a goal of 200 restaurants by 2010.
At Salsarita's Fresh Cantina, customers can create a delicious made-to-order meal from a flavorful healthy-Mexican menu that offers burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, tortilla-crust pizzas, enchiladas, soups and salads with a wide selection of meats, fresh vegetables and homemade salsas in a lively, family-friendly environment.
Guests can add beef, chicken, grilled steak, shredded beef or pork, grilled shrimp and fresh vegetables to their selection and top it with a choice of 13 delicious fillings. Salsarita's also offers build-your-own soup, tortilla thin-crust pizzas (select locations) and is the only fresh-Mexican franchise concept that features enchiladas. Select locations feature a "Quick Cantina," a sushi-style taco service bar that serves margaritas, daiquiris and pina coladas as well as wine and beer. Salsarita's also offers complete catering services.
Salsarita's is one of the nation's fastest-growing, fast-casual Mexican restaurant chains, recognized for its people, food and world-class hospitality. Mexican is considered one of the strongest categories within the fast-casual restaurant segment, with growth rates outpacing the restaurant industry as a whole - a trend that is expected to continue, as more restaurateurs are attracted to the segment.
Salsarita's was founded in 2000 in Charlotte by Bruce Willette, who had built a history of success in franchising, primarily in mall-based food service concepts. Salsarita's came to fruition after Willette noticed two trends: the Mexican food segment was not typically represented in mall food courts and the popularity of mall food courts was declining, often forcing food court tenants to look for opportunities outside of malls.
After the success of his original location, Willette and director of operations Thang Nguyen began expanding the concept. In 2007 Salsarita's was ranked No. 1 on Restaurant Business' list of The Future 50, which lists the fastest-growing restaurant chains in America.
Salsarita's has 78 restaurants in 18 states and expects to end 2008 with about 100 locations. It expects to grow to 200 restaurants by 2010. Roughly 90 percent of all locations are franchised. Growth is expected to come from a combination of single-unit franchisees, multi-unit developers and area representatives, especially existing multi-unit franchisees of other brands looking to diversify their portfolio in their current markets.
Salsarita's has expansive non-traditional development opportunities, including potential international expansion, because of strategic alliances with HMS Host and Compass Group North America, which between them operate thousands of facilities at airports, colleges, universities and institutions around the world. Salsarita's recently partnered with HMS Host to open its first two airport locations at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the ninth-busiest airport in the U.S.
The estimated initial investment for a Salsarita's restaurant ranges from $283,150 to $565,900, including a $25,000 franchise fee. Royalties are five percent of gross revenues paid monthly and there is a one percent contribution to a national advertising fund. Restaurants range from 2,200 to 2,800 square feet and were designed by Shook Design Group, Inc., a national, award-winning architectural firm specializing in restaurant design. The restaurant layout is highly adaptable and requires as little as 600 square feet for non-traditional locations.
Salsarita's three-pronged franchising program is comprised of:
For Area Representatives, Area Developers and Single-Unit Franchisees, Salsarita's works with its partners to craft areas of exclusivity within which the operator can feel protected from encroachment and can plan for future growth. Salsarita's is suitable for multiple environments including lifestyle centers; high-volume, high-visibility strip centers, especially those anchored by a big-box retailer; traditional downtown areas and multiple non-traditional venues.
Salsarita's provides a comprehensive training program that includes both classroom and on-the-job training for the franchisee and/or operating principal along with a restaurant manager that lasts approximately three weeks. Salsarita's provides two weeks of additional onsite assistance before, during and after a restaurant's opening.
Salsarita's business management software tracks sales, expenses, cost projections and payroll and can easily be connected to a video surveillance system that allows franchisees to view store operations from home and directly download records from the system.