Pancheros Grills Up Franchise Growth
In an ever-tightening job market, Pancheros Mexican Grill is serving up a smart franchise solution as a winning investment with a competitive edge.
Pancheros is in the business of making burritos – and business is good. The fast-casual Mexican concept is primed to strategically expand nationwide with strong partners and a one-two investment punch that is making the brand the fast-casual franchise of choice.
“The Pancheros business model is a simple, yet sustainable restaurant concept with strong unit economics,” notes Gary Matusiak, vice-president of franchise development for Pancheros. “The franchise model provides both structure and scalability, so it’s really the best of both worlds for our franchisees.”
The first unit opened in Iowa City, Iowa in 1992 and has since grown from its Midwest roots into 13 states across the country, with each restaurant earning adoration and a loyal fan following for the brand’s made-to-order fresh-pressed tortillas, queso, burrito bowls, quesadillas, tacos, and salad.
“In addition to strong unit economics, the Pancheros employment model strongly appeals to franchisees because it’s easy to cross-train employees in all key job functions across the restaurant to ensure seamless operation,” Matusiak says. “Even during the lunch and dinner rush hours, our restaurants require no more than six to eight employees to run a shift, including the manager.”
The strong, legacy brand is backed by experienced leadership. Founder and CEO Rodney Anderson launched his pursuit to build the perfect burrito in 1992 with the opening of the first Pancheros in Iowa City, Iowa. Amid its popularity, the brand has grown into nearly 70 locations across 13 states.
“Fresh ingredients, customized for every guest, and evenly mixed throughout the burrito – that's what sets Pancheros apart,” adds Matusiak. “Most importantly, we pride ourselves on having a very efficient throughput model in the business and of course, the best-tasting burritos. We really focus on the throughput of our line to maximize sales and the customer experience.”
The franchise world has noticed. Pancheros opened seven new locations last year, fueling further growth in the Midwest and along the East Coast, and building continued momentum as a distinguished concept with a strong development pipeline. Most recently, the brand opened a new restaurant in Waukee, Iowa, and has plans to enter the Texas market in 2019 as well as grow its footprint in several existing markets, including Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
At Pancheros, franchise support is a team effort from the very start. Pancheros lends its extensive real estate and operations experience to assist franchisees with site selection and restaurant design, and ongoing marketing consultation to ensure the strong launch and long-term success of each location. The brand is seeking to expand with experienced restaurateurs and multi-brand operators looking to diversify with a solid franchise concept.
“We are not in a race to have 1,000 units,” says Matusiak. “We are really looking for the right business partners to help us grow. We have a proven business model and we want to make sure we are putting the right people in the system that are right for us and we are right for them – we want to do it in the right way.”