Franchise Review: TacoTime® Brand President Kevin Gingrich
Brand president and multi-unit franchise owner of TacoTime opens up about why the beloved Mexican food franchise is ready for the national spotlight
After nearly 30 years with TacoTime, Brand President and multi-unit franchise owner Kevin Gingrich still craves the fresh, high-quality food that has made the premier Mexican food franchise a beloved treasure in the Pacific Northwest since 1960.
“I eat at TacoTime at least three times a week,” Kevin says. “My wife and I go out to other fast-casual Mexican food restaurants several times a month just to compare our food with what other places are offering. I can say this with absolute honesty: Nothing ever comes close to our food. It really is that good.”
The quality of the TacoTime food lives up to our brand’s promise: fresh, real ingredients make better food. That’s the main reason TacoTime franchise owners have grown in their businesses for decades, and why our rapidly growing customer base has remained wildly enthusiastic for generations. Where other fast-food Mexican restaurants cut corners, we take the time to do it right. Our brand’s customers can taste the difference, and when customers love the product, they crave it more and more.
“The key difference with TacoTime is our taste profile,” Kevin says. “It tastes good because of the seasonings that we have, which are proprietary spice blends created by TacoTime. But our bigger, unique factor is how many items we make in-house. From our hand-rolled Crisp Burritos, to making the taco shells — which most people don’t even know that we do — to the array of other items that are made in-house, from scratch. We make our own salsas and cook our own taco meat every two hours. The norm in the QSR space is that brands bring in products through the back door, maybe reheat it or just pour it out of a bag. We don’t do that. We cook it in-house, and that’s why it tastes better.”
TacoTime is getting Mexican food right
Of the more than 54,000 Mexican food restaurants in America, according to CHD Experts, TacoTime is a truly special brand. While other brands are struggling to find healthier options, source better quality meat and create clever ways to ensure customer loyalty, TacoTime has a nearly 60-year track record of serving the freshest, highest-quality Mexican food at a price that won’t break our customers’ piggy banks.
Our chips and taco shells are made fresh in our kitchens every morning, and our beloved salsas are made fresh daily. Each one of our world-famous Crisp Burritos is rolled by hand and cooked to order, as are our craveable Mexi-Fries®. Our produce is the freshest and ripest available — often locally sourced — and we use only 100% boneless, skinless all-white-meat chicken and top-quality lean ground beef. We also provide vegetarian options, offer a full kids menu and feature a wide variety of seasonal and limited-time offerings that keep our menu fresh and our brand’s customers excited to come back.
In fact, it was the food that brought Kevin back to the TacoTime® brand after a competitor offered him a lucrative management position several years ago. When Kevin discovered the lack of pride being taken by the competitor in terms of food preparation — reheating bags of food that came prepackaged, frozen and already prepared — he rushed back to the brand that he knew didn’t cut corners. He opened a series of TacoTime franchise locations in Utah.
“TacoTime has been remarkably consistent in terms of taste throughout the years,” Kevin says. “The food tasted great the very first time that I tried it in high school, and it still tastes great today. We take a lot of pride in the fact that in order to serve great food, you have to prepare it and cook it in the store where the customers are going to eat your food. It’s really as simple as that.”
The importance of having a brand president that also owns multiple Mexican food franchise locations
TacoTime’s business model has made the American dream of small business ownership a life-changing reality for our growing network of franchise owners. The industry has taken notice: TacoTime has been named to Entrepreneur magazine’s prestigious annual Franchise 500 list every year since 2006.
With approximately 300 locations across the United States and Canada, TacoTime franchise owners are secure in the fact that their voices will be heard by TacoTime’s parent company, Kahala Brands™, because their Brand President has skin in the game as a franchise owner.
“This is a brand that truly listens to their franchise owners,” says Denise Staley, co-owner of several TacoTime franchise restaurants in Wyoming. “We have input on nearly everything — from national marketing strategies to new menu items. The camaraderie we have with other franchise owners is much different than what I have heard from my friends in other franchise systems. We tackle everything together. This is due to leadership. Our Brand President is a franchise owner, so he knows what the brand’s strengths are and what we struggle with.”
Ready to open a TacoTime franchise?
TacoTime is a low-cost investment opportunity with high potential returns; the initial investment estimate for a traditional TacoTime restaurant is between $200,150 and $819,050, about half the initial investment for other quick-service Mexican brands. We have become a beloved part of hundreds of communities in the Pacific Northwest and Canada over the past 60 years, and now TacoTime is poised to become the premier Mexican QSR franchise nationwide. The franchise fee for your first traditional TacoTime franchise is $30,000, and the franchise fee for multiple units may be discounted if certain conditions are met.
“Now as TacoTime® moves forward, we want to find entrepreneurs who not only love the food and are passionate about the food, but who also have the desire to grow in their communities,” Kevin says. “Now is a great time to become a TacoTime franchise owner.”
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