Margaritas Mexican Restaurant Franchise looks to expand into New York after being named Best Mexican Restaurant in New England

Margaritas Mexican Restaurant has identified upstate New York for a planned four franchise locations in the next five to seven years.

PORTSMOUTH, NH /24-7PressRelease/ -- On the heels of being named the best place to find south-of-the-border cuisine in New England, Margaritas Mexican Restaurant is looking to bring that taste and feel of Mexico to upstate New York.

Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, a popular restaurant and lounge that's developed a loyal following throughout New England for the past 25 years, has identified upstate New York for a planned four franchise locations in the next five to seven years.

"From our world-famous margaritas to our authentic decor and delicious Mexican cuisine, Margaritas Mexican Restaurants are as close as you will get to vacationing south of the border without getting on a plane," said John Pelletier, founder of the popular Mexican restaurant concept. "Whether it's a celebratory dinner with the family, or a happy-hour destination with co-workers for one of our famous margaritas at the bar, we have developed a large cult-like following among a diverse group."

Most recently, Margaritas was crowned the Best Mexican Restaurant in the "Baby, You're the Best" contest sponsored by NECN, the regional cable television network serving all of New England. The online contest was part of a summer-long quest to find the best food and drinks that New England has to offer. Margaritas also recently earned a top 10 ranking in the 2010 Restaurant Business Future 50 list.

Since its founding in 1985, Margaritas has grown to 21 locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Connecticut. Offering made-from-scratch Mexican cuisine, each Margaritas restaurant is a gallery of hand-crafted Mexican artwork and a festive party atmosphere. To ensure the restaurant reflects present-day culture with a respect for history, Pelletier travels to working artist and manufacturing towns in Mexico to select hundreds of crafts, handmade tiles, glassware and carved tables and chairs.

Contributing to the restaurant's appeal are the freshly made -- hand shaken - Margaritas, which come in 15 different flavors, including strawberry, sour apple, mango, pomegranate, prickly pear, raspberry and, of course, "The Original Margarita."

This is the first time in the company's history that Margaritas is offering a franchise opportunity, and only in a handful of selective markets in the Atlantic region. Defying skeptics, Pelletier said there's no better time than the present for the strategic move to franchising.

"Our franchisees will actually see significant savings when it comes to opening a new restaurant since we have a track record of retrofitting existing buildings to suit our concept, and today there are multiple opportunities for prime, cost-effective real estate," Pelletier said. "Also, current data illustrates a strong demand in the Mexican food category, which is virtually untapped along the Atlantic seaboard."

Margaritas is outpacing competitors in the casual dining segment by demonstrating solid unit-level economics, which is fueled by a $2.3 million average unit sales volume, a beverage-to-food sales ratio of 45 percent and a 24.8 percent EBITDAR, which falls into the top tier of its peers. A strategic site-location process that targets restaurants that can be retrofitted for Margaritas' needs also contributes to their success.

Margaritas is targeting high-profile, multi-unit franchisees that have a strong community presence, capital and proven business experience.

About Margaritas Mexican Restaurants

Founded in 1985 by John Pelletier, Margaritas Mexican Restaurant Group has 21 locations throughout Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut. From colorful authentic decor to a commitment to community relations through field trips and visiting artist demonstrations, Margaritas provides an atmosphere rich with the culture and flavors of Mexico. In 2009, Margaritas restaurants had a 24.8% EBITDAR, which is significantly higher than most restaurants in the segment. Margaritas Mexican Restaurants have earned numerous awards and honors, including being named the Best Mexican Restaurant in New England, New Hampshire and Connecticut. Margaritas also earned a top 10 position in the 2010 Restaurant Business' Future 50.

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