February 09, 2016 // Franchising.com // KISSIMMEE, FL - This week, California Tortilla will open its doors in Kissimmee, the first location in central Florida for the mid-Atlantic based chain. Conveniently located in the brand new Crossroads Shopping Center - and just a mile away from the world-famous Gator Land - the fast casual concept brings its fresh, imaginative Mexican menu to central Florida.
California Tortilla opened its first store twenty years ago in Bethesda, MD, and has since expanded northward to new markets including Philadelphia and the greater NYC metropolitan area; now the launch of California Tortilla Kissimmee takes the fast casual chain the furthest south to date. Along the way, California Tortilla developed a loyal fan base with adventurous flavor combinations, use of imagination in unlikely places, commitment to using fresh i ngredients and cooking in small batches throughout the day - all without ever taking themselves too seriously.
As a long-time resident of the Washington, DC area, franchise owner Dale Warden has been an enthusiastic fan of California Tortilla, won over by the quality and freshness of their food, and the fun of their unique, “Mexican Re-Imagined” brand. Though he was always a foodie, Dale spent three decades in a decidedly different industry, traveling the world as a micro-economist. But when he became an investor in Founding Farmers, one of DC’s most popular restaurants, Dale decided it was time to open one himself. So with the help of Floridian Nick Patel, who brings with him 10 years of restaurant experience, and JoAnn Warden, aka “Dale’s Boss” and wife, who ran her own management consulting business for 25 years, Dale set about finding the right opportunity.
For Dale, California Tortilla was the perfect fit: “California Tortilla doesn’t just put out a quality product, they create a one-of-a-kind experience. When you look at customer satisfaction, menu variety, the system they’re providing to franchisees, and the unit economics, in every one of those areas, California Tortilla offered exactly what I wanted.’” And he knew the perfect location.
“Florida is now the third most populous state and demographics show that population growth is exploding in the Central Florida area,” explained Dale. “And Kissimmee has everything we were looking for: with its proximity to Disney, there’s high employment and high demand for time shares and hotel rooms. Our location is an easy drive to Old Town Kissimmee, The Loop shopping center - and of course, Gator Land.”
California Tortilla Kissimmee is located in the new Crosslands Shopping Center and seats 70 inside, with additional outdoor seating available. And for Dale and Team, this is just the beginning: he plans to open four locations in Central Florida this year. “By end of this year, we’ll be flying flags from the Atlantic Coast to Tampa Bay, and will have created over 130 jobs.”
California Tortilla Kissimmee will celebrate the grand opening by serving free burritos and a beverage for both lunch and dinner service on Tuesday, February 9th. Plus, they’ll be offering free burritos for a whole year to the first 20 customers in line that morning. And judging by the success of past openings, expect to see hungry locals to turn out in droves.
Check in at the store for an exciting schedule of special events throughout the year. This location will have special meals for the kids, room for school students and select beer and wine for adults.
Fast Casual leader California Tortilla serves fresh, made-to-order, delicious, award-winning burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and salads all grounded in a foundation of Mexican cuisine yet combined with imaginative and international flavor combinations and customization opportunities, including a Wall-of-Flame with over 70 distinctive flavors and heat. They are Mexican Re-Imagined. Based in Rockville, MD, the fast-casual chain has nearly 50 locations across the East Coast in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Florida and the District of Columbia. They are best known for their fresh food, unique recipes, innovative promotions, and customer and community engagement via Twitter and Facebook.
For more information and to inquire about franchising opportunities, please visit www.californiatortilla.com or call 301-545-0035.
SOURCE California Tortilla