California Tortilla’s New ACE Operations Model Features Seamless Ordering System for 100% Accuracy
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California Tortilla’s New ACE Operations Model Features Seamless Ordering System for 100% Accuracy

The ACE model already had a successful rollout at a New Jersey location, where it led to a 20% increase in sales and a lower average service time. Now, the brand is rolling it out more broadly.

February 25, 2020 // // Picking up a Screamin’ Burrito or an order of customized street tacos at California Tortilla is about to become even easier for customers thanks to a new restaurant model that will also boost profitability for franchisees. 

The California-style Mexican restaurant concept, which has over 40 locations open and in development across the country, has begun rolling out its new ACE Model in 2020. The ACE Model, which stands for Accuracy, Customization and Engagement, is a hybrid of the brand’s customizable dishes and chef-driven recipes that allows customers to get even more enjoyment from their favorite menu items. 

One major feature of the ACE Model is a revamped line ordering system. 

“We have a cooler, more culinary feel to the line now,” California Tortilla Director of Marketing Karen Dawit said. “It’s not like a cafeteria. As you walk down the make line building your creation, you see chefs and pots and pans on the main line to highlight how much work we put into preparing your food. The look and feel are a lot more modern. Everything flows really well.”

The new format not only helps to decrease wait times and improve throughput, but most importantly, ensures 100% order accuracy, giving customers the ability to customize their order to meet their exact craving. 

“The ACE model gives the customer more control over their meal,” Dawit said. “Order accuracy issues have been eliminated because the customer is literally walking down the line and following their meal.” 

This increase in crew member interaction also creates a whole new brand engagement experience for California Tortilla’s loyal customers. 

“We love the fact that we get to interact with customers at every single point during their experience,” Dawit said. “Guests previously interacted predominantly with the cashier, but now, they engage with every crew member.” 

There are other changes in store for the brand under the new ACE model too, including new finishes and an open kitchen to spotlight ingredients. Each restaurant that opens under the ACE model will also feature an especially beautiful creation: A large avocado that lights up and glows over the register area. Dawit is certainly a huge fan. 

“I love the avocado and what it means in terms of our commitment to fresh ingredients,” she said. 

And it must be emphasized: The new model does not mean that California Tortilla is diminishing its commitment to freshness. Instead, the brand’s new model emphasizes how California Tortilla is still focused squarely on using never-frozen ingredients and takes pride in offering over 25 recipes made fresh daily from scratch.

With 2020 in full swing, California Tortilla is now taking the steps to convert current restaurants to the new model, a process that is beginning on a case-by-case basis, Dawit said. The ACE Model already exists in two of the brand’s locations and has been met with positive responses from both customers and franchisees. For one, the new model was tested at the brand’s Montclair State University campus location in New Jersey to great success, translating to a 20% increase in sales and cutting average service time from 10 minutes down to five. It also led to a higher average ticket price due to customers requesting more add-ons, such as extra protein. 

Moving forward, all of the brand’s new locations will open under the model. California Tortilla’s newest locations in Hixson, Tennessee and Wichita, Kansas, opened in October 2019 and January 2020, respectively under the new model. 

“California Tortilla customers are among the most loyal and enthusiastic in the business,” said COO Keith Goldman. “That said, we saw some major opportunity to even further elevate the customer experience. We knew this would be a big undertaking, but the potential rewards were too great. We are working closely with every department in the company and we’re excited by the customer response. We look forward to converting more restaurants to the new model.” 

About California Tortilla

California Tortilla is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant franchise known for its commitment to freshness and flavor. Hailing from Potomac, Maryland, California Tortilla'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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