How California Tortilla Wins With Consumers
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How California Tortilla Wins With Consumers

Exemplified by a slew of awards, the fast casual Mexican restaurant franchise delivers the variety and flavor its customers crave through an emphasis on freshness and personality.

February 07, 2020 // // California Tortilla, known as Cal Tort to its brand loyalists, was born in Bethesda, Maryland in 1995 and has since made a name for itself as a top contender in the fast casual Mexican restaurant space. Known for its innovative approach to Mexican, California Tortilla opened its doors to franchising in 2003 and has grown to over 40 locations along the East Coast and beyond.

Aiding in its growth spurt is the impressive recognition Cal Tort continuously receives from its customers. Their love is so serious that they wanted to shout it from the rooftops through awards in the home market. California Tortilla was named the Best Fast Casual Dining option by readers of Washington City Paper for its annual Best of D.C. awards. It was also named one of D.C.’s Top 5 Best Tacos and as a Top Family-Friendly Restaurant by Washingtonian Magazine readers for its annual Best of Washington Readers’ Poll.

As exemplified by these accolades, the fast casual Mexican restaurant concept is well-versed in giving its customers exactly what they want: A menu chock-full of variety and innovation, food made with an emphasis on freshness and a commitment to not taking itself too seriously.

California Tortilla’s menu is ripe with variety and innovation. From burritos to chef-crafted bowls, street tacos, salads, quesadillas, nachos, fajitas and sides, Cal Tort’s entire menu is fully customizable. “Cal Tort’s menu is all about innovation,” said Karen Dawit, Director of Marketing for the brand. “All of our food is chef-inspired - we want to keep things fresh and fun with specially-curated creations and unexpected flavor combinations.”

What’s more, Cal Tort’s fully customizable selection of food is now available through online ordering. The app allows customers to get creative with their orders and discover new menu items they may not have noticed in-store. “Make your order as spicy or as mild you please,” Dawit said. “Our unique Wall of Flame provides customers with an option of over 75 hot sauces from which to choose from and has become a defining feature of each and every Cal Tort restaurant. Customers love it because it really adds some adventure to their experience.”

Now, that’s ‘tort-ally’ awesome!

Consumers also love the fact that California Tortilla puts a strong emphasis on freshness, which appeals to the rapidly growing pool of health-conscious consumers. The brand is committed to serving food made from healthy, fresh and high-quality ingredients - each location sources the best ingredients from local suppliers, ensuring every ounce of salsa, guacamole, queso and sauces are made fresh daily and are never frozen.

Another characteristic consumers are increasingly wanting from their favorite brands? Eco-friendly products and sustainability, which adds another notch on California Tortilla’s belt on how it wins with consumers. On top of locally-sourced and environmentally conscious ingredients, Cal Tort prioritizes eco-friendly practices within its product line. According to marketing manager Bernadette Brandt, napkins at Cal Tort restaurants are made from 100% sugarcane fibers, which biodegrade faster than paper. “Our soups and sides are all packaged in all-natural agricultural by-products and our bags are 100% recyclable and made from 40% recycled content,” she added. “We are committed to doing our part in helping protect the environment.”

Last but certainly not least, California Tortilla showcases a personality that keeps customers coming back for more. Committed to having fun, each restaurant boasts a playful and inviting atmosphere for people of all ages to enjoy. For example, each of the California Tortilla locations features a playlist full of all the best hits from the ‘80s - because who doesn’t want to hear “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses while enjoying their made-to-order burrito?

California Tortilla customers can also sign up to become a member of the Burrito Elito, where the more you eat, the more you get. The brand’s loyalty program gives you points for every dollar spent; guests who reach 75 points receive $5 in Burrito Bucks. If they spend $50 in six months, they can earn Gold Status, which comes with a slew of other perks.

Cal Tort, the brand famous for bringing its fresh Cal-Mexican fare to the East Coast, undoubtedly has a way with consumers. From its fresh, locally sourced ingredients to its customizable menu and eco-friendly practices, California Tortilla is well-positioned to continue capturing the hearts of consumers all over the United States.

Who’s ready to eat?

About California Tortilla

Since 1995, California Tortilla has brought a fresh perspective to “California-style” Mexican flavors. The fast-casual Mexican restaurant franchise's signature, made-to-order food is all made in-house from fresh, never-frozen ingredients, ensuring the highest-quality menu offering at all 45 of its locations. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:

Jennifer Hoch
No Limit Agency

SOURCE California Tortilla



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