Barberitos Innovates During Pandemic and Weathers the Storm After Restaurant Industry Bottomed Out
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Barberitos Innovates During Pandemic and Weathers the Storm After Restaurant Industry Bottomed Out

Burrito chain provides relief for its franchisees, discovers new ways to safely serve its guests and feeds front-line workers

June 23, 2020 // Franchising.com // ATHENS, GA - Less than a month after Barberitos celebrated the chain’s 20th anniversary with an event in its hometown of Athens, Ga., the restaurant industry was devastated by the pandemic. Under the leadership and creativity of the chain’s Founder & CEO Downing Barber, Barberitos, quickly shifted its focus to discover ways to be resilient and innovate in support of its franchisees, as well as to ensure the safety of its team members and guests. A full marketing plan was also developed to ensure a successful summer. The popular fast-casual Southwestern Grille and Cantina has 50 locations across the Southeast.

“The Barberitos franchisees are my extended family, and we are in this together,” said Downing Barber, Barberitos Founder & CEO. “Having spent most of my life serving food and entertaining others, I am committed to continuing to do so in the safest manner possible. The Barberitos team was determined to be creative to get through this time, and I think that’s what allowed us to keep our doors open during this difficult time.”

As the COVID-19 virus pandemic progressed, Barberitos Franchising Inc. (BFI) took immediate action:

  • Franchisee Support - Offered everything from fee reductions to a sounding board for best practices, as well as the development and promotion of new menu items, hours, delivery, etc.
  • Safety Initiatives - Instituted numerous proactive steps as recommended by the CDC and FDA.
  • Curbside Pickup - Added to mobile app and website as an additional pickup option to guests.
  • Delivery Services - Partnered with Door Dash to offer no delivery charges for two months.
  • Promotions - Launched a “TacoBout Family Takeout” meal at many of its locations, which provided all the fresh ingredients needed to prepare meals at home.
  • Hospital Feed Programs - Secured corporate support or guest donations to provide free meals to first responders throughout different communities.
  • Updated Marketing Plan - Transitioning to a bright future by focusing on the Colors of Summer and incorporating tie-dye t-shirts and ESPN broadcaster & former NFL player David Pollack.

Barberitos is a Southwestern Grille dedicated to serving farm-fresh, high-quality food in a fast-casual restaurant environment. Many of the restaurants’ menu items are prepared or cooked in-house daily, including hand-smashed guacamole, homemade salsas, fresh-cut vegetables, as well as chicken, steak, turkey, tofu, pork, fish, rice and beans.

About Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina

Barberitos has a mission to serve others with a focus on Food, Community and People. Through exceptional service, Barberitos aspires to become the market leader of the quick-serve burrito industry. The chain is dedicated to serving fresh, high-quality food in an efficient manner. With a focus on farm-fresh food, many of the restaurants’ menu items are prepared or cooked in-house daily, including hand-smashed guacamole, home-made salsas, fresh-cut vegetables as well as chicken, steak, turkey, tofu, fish, pork, rice and beans. Founded in 2000 by Downing Barber, Barberitos has grown to 50 locations in seven southeastern states. In 2017, Nation’s Restaurant News included the chain in its “Next Restaurant Brands” list.

SOURCE Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina

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