23 Mexican Restaurant Franchise Opportunities

mexican restaurant franchise

Are you looking at opening a Mexican restaurant franchise? There are some advantages to opening a place serving authentic Mexican food. Americans love these traditional dishes. In fact, 86% of them like this kind of restaurant.

Based on meticulous research and consideration, we present a curated selection of 23 top Mexican restaurant franchise opportunities.

Best Mexican Food Franchises to Buy

If you’ve always liked Mexican restaurants and wanted to own one, read on. You will find a list of Mexican restaurant franchises below. The information covers financial info, available locations, as well as other things such as Mexican inspired menu items that sell.

1.  La Parilla

This place serves up carne asada and other delicious items. They have 19 locations right now.

  • Investments: You need a prime location for one of these Mexican food franchises. La Parilla also has startup costs and site specifications.
  • Franchise fee: $400,000 USD per outlet
  • Royalties: Paid monthly. 6% on gross sales.

2. America’s Taco Shop

This is one of the quick-serve franchise restaurants available. The average time to open a franchise is 6 to 8 months. They have an experienced and skilled support team with 20 years of experience. America’s Taco Shop boasts kiosks and food court options.

  • Investments: Anywhere from $252,350 – $711,250
  • Franchise fee: $30,000
  • Royalties: 6%
  • Minimum cash required: liquid capital of $50,000 and a net worth of $375,000

3. El Pollo Loco

This chain offers new franchisees help through an expert real estate team. And seven weeks of training before you open your restaurant. El Pollo Loco supplies the freshest ingredients in their Mexican food.

  • Investments: $505,000 to $1.1 million
  • Franchise fee: $40,000.
  • Royalties: 4% of monthly receipts
  • Minimum cash required: 1 million USD net worth per unit. Plus $300,000 in liquid assets

4. Costa Vida

Costa Vida is looking for franchise partners. They pride themselves on using fresh ingredients, from the ground beef right to the shredded lettuce.

Small Business Deals

  • Investments: $553,500 – $1,069,000
  • Franchise fee: $30,000
  • Royalties: 6% of monthly sales.
  • Minimum cash required:$250,000 – $1,000,000.

5. Del Taco

Looking for a Tex Mex franchise? How about an opportunity with a 50-year history? Del Taco has around 600 locations in 16 states. Another restaurant chain supplying fresh ingredients. Available territories include ones close to Southern California.

  • Investments: $812,700-$2,368,000
  • Franchise fee: $35,000
  • Royalties: 5% of net sales.
  • Minimum cash required: minimum liquidity of $500,00 and net worth of $2 million.

mexican restaurant franchise

6. Baja Fresh Mexican Grill

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill is a good fast casual opportunity that supplies great training and support. Baja Fresh is owned by Wendy’s. There’s a franchise in San Bernardino.

  • Investments:$322,310 – $974,290
  • Franchise fee: $30,000 – $50,000
  • Royalties: 5%
  • Minimum cash required:$500,000

7. Taco Time

Taco Time franchise owners get a business model that’s been around since 1960. They offer award-winning tacos and a burrito lineup that’s rolled by hand.

  • Investments: $331,150-$734,800
  • Franchise fee:$30,00
  • Royalties: 6% of gross sales.
  • Minimum cash required: $250,000

8. Uberrito Fresh Mex

Uberrito Fresh Mex is a fast-casual franchise that pushes unique flavors. Franchisees get six weeks of training.

  • Investments: $690,000 to $985,000
  • Franchise fee: $40,000
  • Royalties: 5% of gross sales
  • Minimum cash required: $250K minimum liquidity, $500K minimum net worth

9. Chronic Tacos Mexican Grill

Chronic Tacos Mexican Grill offers burrito bowls and other types of Mexican food. You can fill out a form to get started with the franchise on their website. And even pick a preferred city to get started.

  • Investments: $294,000 – $801,000
  • Franchise fee: $40,000
  • Royalties: 6.0%
  • Minimum cash required: a net worth of at least $250,000.

10. Qdoba Mexican Eats

This franchise has Mexican-inspired menu items. And Qdoba Mexican Eats has plans to expand to 2,000 units. There are catering and off-premise business options. There’s marketing support for locally owned businesses too.

  • Investments: $476,800 to $1,096,700
  • Franchise fee: $30k per restaurant for a 10-year term
  • Royalties: 5% of gross sales
  • Minimum cash required: $500,000

mexican restaurant franchise

11. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop serves three meals-breakfast lunch and dinner. Their Baja tacos are one of their flagship foods.

  • Investments: There are two versions. The Traditional $580,000-$1,224,600 and The Taqueria $370,500-$734,000
  • Franchise fee: Traditional $40,000/ Taqueria $30,000
  • Royalties: 5% of gross sales for either
  • Minimum cash required: The net worth requirement is $1,000,000.

12. Rusty Taco

The name was shortened to r taco in 2015. Buy a Rusty Taco franchise and get the backing of an industry leader, Inspire Brands.

  • Investments: $531,900 to $897,450
  • Franchise fee: $25,000
  • Royalties: 5% of gross sales
  • Minimum cash required: $500,00 liquid capital/net worth of over $1,000,000.

13. Pancheros Mexican Grill

Pancheros Mexican Grill was founded in 1992. There are 71 restaurants in 12 states. Rodney Anderson is the CEO.

  • Investments: $460,825 – $1,027,000
  • Franchise fee: $30,000
  • Royalties: 5%
  • Minimum cash required; Liquid capital needed $250,000. Net Worth Required. $750,000

14. Margaritas Mexican Restaurant

Good food and the best margaritas. Margaritas Mexican Restaurant has great combinations for a franchise.

  • Investments: $1,182,000 – $1,454,000
  • Franchise fee: $30,000
  • Royalties: 4%
  • Minimum cash required; $2,500,000

15. California Tortilla

California Tortilla attracts franchisees with its business model. Impressive stats report less than 10% of franchises fail annually.

  • Investments: $402k to $697k
  • Franchise fee: $40,000
  • Royalties: 5%
  • Minimum cash required; $250K in liquid capital, $1M net worth

16. Moe’s Southwest Grill

Moe’s Southwest Grill has been franchising since 2001. They offer different items like tacos and nachos, bowls, and stacks with fresh sour cream.

  • Investments: $446,035 to $997,212.
  • Franchise fee: $30,500
  • Royalties: 5% of net sales.
  • Minimum cash required; $150,000 in liquid capital

17. Taco Bueno

This franchise started in 1967. Taco Bueno has been named the most popular Mexican restaurant in America. They have breakfast items.

  • Investments: $639,000 – $1,593,000
  • Franchise fee: $35,000
  • Royalties: 5.0%
  • Minimum cash required; $1,500,000 net worth

mexican restaurant franchise

18. Quesada Burritos & Tacos

Quesada Burritos & Tacos offers a catering service.

  • Investments: $244K – $416K
  • Franchise fee: $30,000
  • Royalties: 6%
  • Minimum cash required; $70,000

19. Taco Bell

One of the big players. Taco Bell is a leader in Mexican QSR franchises. Glen Bell is the founder. You’ll find one in Point Pleasant, NJ.

  • Investments: $575,600 – $3,370,100
  • Franchise fee: $25,000 – $45,000
  • Royalties: 5.5%
  • Minimum cash required; $1,500,000

20. Blue Coast Burrito

Blue Coast Burrito has locations in places like downtown Nashville.

  • Investments: $368,000 to  $572,000
  • Franchise fee: $19,995
  • Royalties: 5%
  • Minimum cash required; $200,00 in liquid capital

21. Taco Casa

Taco Casa even posts a nutritional guide. They have good food and contests.

  • Investments:$615,000 – $2,127,000
  • Franchise fee: $35,000
  • Royalties: 7%
  • Minimum cash required; $400,000

22. Mucho Burrito

This franchise has gift cards. Mucho Burrito offers online ordering.

  • Investments: $425,000 – $815,500
  • Franchise fee: $25,000
  • Royalties: 5%
  • Minimum cash required; $120,000

23. Taco John’s

Great Mexcian fare to rival Taco Bell. Taco John’s has over 380 restaurants in 22 states. Taco John’s offers daily specials. A Taco John franchise pays average royalties.

  • Investments: $310,000 – $1,228,000
  • Franchise fee: $25,000
  • Royalties: 5%
  • Minimum cash required; minimum net worth of $500,000

mexican restaurant franchise

Comparison of Investment Details for Mexican Restaurant Franchise Opportunities

To help you navigate through the vibrant landscape of Mexican restaurant franchises, we’ve compiled a comparison table that encapsulates the essential financial commitments of each opportunity.

Whether you’re weighing initial investments or ongoing fees, this table serves as your concise guide to making an informed decision.

Franchise NameInitial InvestmentFranchise FeeRoyaltiesMinimum Cash Required
America’s Taco Shop$252,350 – $711,250$30,0006%$50,000
Taco Time$331,150 – $734,800$30,0006%$250,000
Baja Fresh Mexican Grill$322,310 – $974,290$30,000 – $50,0005%$500,000
El Pollo Loco$505,000 – $1.1 million$40,0004%$300,000
Costa Vida$553,500 – $1,069,000$30,0006%$250,000 – $1,000,000
Qdoba Mexican Eats$476,800 – $1,096,700$30,0005%$500,000
Del Taco$812,700 – $2,368,000$35,0005%$500,000
Uberrito Fresh Mex$690,000 – $985,000$40,0005%$250K minimum liquidity, $500K net worth
Chronic Tacos Mexican Grill$294,000 – $801,000$40,0006.0%$250,000
Pancheros Mexican Grill$460,825 – $1,027,000$30,0005%$250,000
Rusty Taco$531,900 – $897,450$25,0005%$500,00
Taco Bell$575,600 – $3,370,100$25,000 – $45,0005.5%$1,500,000
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop$580,000 – $1,224,600$40,0005%$1,000,000
Taco Bueno$639,000 – $1,593,000$35,0005.0%$1,500,000
Moe’s Southwest Grill$446,035 – $997,212$30,5005%$150,000
California Tortilla$402k – $697k$40,0005%$250,000
Margaritas Mexican Restaurant$1,182,000 – $1,454,000$30,0004%$2,500,000
Mucho Burrito$425,000 – $815,500$25,0005%$120,000
Taco Casa$615,000 – $2,127,000$35,0007%$400,000
Blue Coast Burrito$368,000 – $572,000$19,9955%$200,00
Quesada Burritos & Tacos$244K – $416K$30,0006%$70,000
Taco John’s$310,000 – $1,228,000$25,0005%$500,000

Please note that the minimum cash required may vary based on additional factors such as location, so we recommend that you contact the franchise for the most accurate and current information.

Our Methodology: How We Chose the Best Mexican Restaurant Franchise

Mexican cuisine is celebrated for its vibrant flavors and has become a staple in the global dining scene. Selecting the top Mexican restaurant franchises involves not just a taste for authenticity but also a strategic business perspective.

Here’s the approach we took to pinpoint the leading Mexican restaurant franchise opportunities:

Authenticity and Menu Appeal (10/10)

We give top priority to franchises offering a menu that reflects authentic Mexican culinary traditions while also appealing to a broad customer base.

Brand Recognition and Market Position (9/10)

Strong brand presence and a positive market position are essential for attracting customers and competing effectively in the food industry.

Franchisee Training and Support (9/10)

Robust training programs and comprehensive operational support are crucial for maintaining the franchise’s standards and helping franchisees succeed.

Supply Chain Reliability (8/10)

A reliable supply chain for fresh ingredients is vital for any food service business, especially for franchises focusing on the rich flavors of Mexican cuisine.

Financial Performance and Profitability (8/10)

We analyze the financial health of the franchise, including profitability, revenue potential, and the financial support offered to franchisees.

Growth Potential and Scalability (8/10)

The potential for expansion, both domestically and internationally, is a significant factor in our evaluation of a franchise’s long-term viability.

Marketing and Branding Support (7/10)

Effective marketing campaigns and branding support that resonate with the target market are key to a franchise’s growth and success.

Customer Satisfaction and Retention (7/10)

High levels of customer satisfaction, positive reviews, and strong retention rates indicate the franchise’s quality and service excellence.

Investment Requirements and Fees (7/10)

We assess the investment needed to start the franchise, the transparency of fee structures, and the overall cost-effectiveness of the investment.

Innovation and Menu Development (6/10)

Franchises that innovate and adapt their menu to cater to changing customer preferences and dietary needs score well in our methodology.

Community Engagement and Cultural Representation (6/10)

We recognize franchises that actively engage with their communities and represent Mexican culture with respect and integrity.

Environmental Sustainability Practices (6/10)

Commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices, especially in sourcing and waste management, is increasingly important and factored into our evaluation.

Our methodology for selecting the best Mexican restaurant franchises is rooted in an appreciation for authenticity and quality, as well as sound business strategies.

We aim to highlight franchise opportunities that not only promise a delicious dining experience but also demonstrate strong potential for growth and a solid support structure for franchisees.

mexican restaurant franchise

Key Considerations for Selecting a Mexican Restaurant Franchise

  • Evaluate startup costs versus potential ROI.
  • Consider the brand’s market presence and reputation.
  • Assess ongoing support and training provided by the franchisor.
  • Review the franchise agreement thoroughly with a legal advisor.
  • Investigate the franchisor’s marketing and advertising strategies.

Evaluate Startup Costs Versus Potential ROI

Understanding Financial Requirements

When considering a Mexican restaurant franchise, it’s crucial to understand the initial startup costs. These can include franchise fees, property leasing or purchase, equipment, initial inventory, and staffing. Compare these costs against the potential return on investment (ROI). An ideal franchise opportunity should offer a balance between a reasonable initial investment and promising profitability.

Analyzing Market Trends

Evaluate the market trends specific to Mexican cuisine. A growing interest in Mexican food can signal a higher potential ROI. Consider the location demographics and consumer preferences in areas where you plan to operate. Locations with a strong affinity for Mexican cuisine may offer a quicker and higher ROI.

Consider the Brand’s Market Presence and Reputation

Brand Recognition

A franchise with strong brand recognition can attract customers more easily, translating to higher foot traffic and sales. Research the brand’s presence both locally and nationally. A well-known brand can mean less effort in building customer trust and loyalty.

Reputation Analysis

Investigate the brand’s reputation among customers and within the industry. Online reviews, customer feedback, and industry awards can provide insights into the brand’s standing. A positive reputation is a strong indicator of potential success.

Assess Ongoing Support and Training Provided by the Franchisor

Training Programs

Examine the comprehensiveness of the training programs offered by the franchisor. Effective training should cover all aspects of running the restaurant, including food preparation, customer service, staff management, and compliance with health and safety regulations.

Continuous Support

Consider the level of ongoing support provided. This can include operational guidance, marketing assistance, and administrative support. Franchisors that offer robust and continuous support can significantly ease the process of running your franchise and contribute to its success.

Review the Franchise Agreement Thoroughly with a Legal Advisor

Understanding the Contract

Before committing to a franchise, have a legal advisor review the franchise agreement. Ensure you understand all obligations, restrictions, and rights granted to you as a franchisee. Pay close attention to terms regarding franchise fees, royalty payments, territorial rights, and contract duration and renewal.

Negotiation Possibilities

Discuss with your legal advisor the possibilities of negotiating any terms in the franchise agreement. Some franchisors may be open to negotiations to accommodate your specific circumstances or concerns.

Investigate the Franchisor’s Marketing and Advertising Strategies

National and Local Marketing Efforts

Look into the franchisor’s marketing and advertising strategies at both national and local levels. Effective marketing strategies can greatly enhance brand presence and attract customers. Assess how the franchisor supports individual franchises in their local marketing efforts.

Digital Marketing Initiatives

In today’s digital age, a franchisor’s presence in digital marketing channels, including social media, search engine marketing, and online advertising, is crucial. Evaluate the franchisor’s digital marketing initiatives and how they align with current marketing trends.

mexican restaurant franchise

Which Style of Mexican Food is the Most Popular?

Mexican cuisine is a vibrant and diverse tapestry of flavors that has captivated food enthusiasts around the globe. When considering which style to focus on for a Mexican food franchise, it’s essential to explore the popularity of various dishes and understand regional preferences.

Here is a list of some beloved Mexican foods and insights into their popularity:

  • Tacos. Perhaps the most universally recognized Mexican dish, tacos offer incredible versatility. From street-style tacos with soft corn tortillas, cilantro, and onions to Americanized versions with hard shells and abundant toppings, tacos are beloved for their variety and portability. They are a staple in both Mexico and the United States, often found at casual eateries and upscale restaurants alike.
  • Enchiladas are another cornerstone of Mexican cuisine, consisting of corn tortillas rolled around a filling – typically meat or cheese – and smothered in a chili sauce. Their comfort food appeal and the ability to batch-prepare make enchiladas a favorite in both home kitchens and restaurants.
  • Burritos, a flour tortilla wrapped around a filling of rice, beans, meat, cheese, and various toppings, is particularly popular in Tex-Mex cuisine. Originating from the northern regions of Mexico but perfected in the American Southwest, burritos are enjoyed for their hearty and satisfying nature.
  • Fajitas, which traditionally feature grilled meat served on a sizzling platter with peppers and onions, have become a social dining experience. Often accompanied by tortillas and a variety of condiments, they allow diners to customize their meal, contributing to their widespread popularity.
  • Chiles Rellenos (Stuffed peppers), embody the rich and sometimes spicy flavors of Mexican cooking. They are particularly revered in Puebla and central Mexico. The dish’s blend of heat from the peppers and the cooling effect of the stuffed cheese strikes a balance that many find irresistible.
  • Tamales, dough filled with meats or sweets and steamed in a corn husk, have deep historical roots in Mesoamerica. They are a festive food, often reserved for holidays and special occasions, which adds to their allure.
  • Quesadillas, featuring cheese and sometimes other fillings sandwiched between tortillas, are a go-to quick meal. They have found a global audience due to their simplicity and the universal appeal of melted cheese.

mexican restaurant franchise

The popularity of these dishes varies by region. For instance, tacos are a fast-food favorite across North America, while enchiladas might be more popular in areas with a strong tradition of Mexican-American cuisine. Burritos and fajitas tend to have widespread appeal in both casual and fast-casual dining settings.

When choosing a Mexican food franchise, it’s critical to consider the local market. Some areas may have a strong preference for traditional Mexican fare, while others might lean towards the Tex-Mex variety.

Additionally, the current landscape of Mexican food franchise opportunities will influence your decision. As part of your due diligence, thoroughly review the franchise disclosure document to understand the operational requirements, financial commitments, and support provided by the franchisor.

Ultimately, the success of a Mexican food franchise hinges on delivering the flavors and experiences that resonate with your target audience while ensuring consistent quality and service that aligns with the franchisor’s standards.

mexican restaurant franchise

Are Mexican Restaurant Franchises Profitable?

Mexican restaurant franchises are a good investment. The appeal of Mexican cuisine, with its rich flavors and variety, translates into a strong customer base. The statistics are compelling – with the industry generating $62.24 billion per year in recent years, there is clear evidence of profitability.

This robust performance is fueled by a growing appreciation for Mexican food’s authenticity and diversity, as well as its adaptability to fast-casual dining trends.

Investors looking to enter the restaurant industry would find that Mexican franchises offer a tantalizing mix of cultural heritage and modern dining appeal, with a proven potential for significant returns.

Which Mexican Food Franchises Cost the Least to Start Up?

For entrepreneurs seeking entry into the food franchise sector with a modest initial investment, certain Mexican restaurant franchises stand out. Mucho Burrito is one such brand that makes this cheapest food franchises list.

This franchise’s cost-effectiveness does not compromise its profit potential; it taps into the lucrative market of diners seeking fresh, customizable Mexican fare. When considering startup costs, it’s also wise to evaluate the total value – from the initial fee to equipment, inventory, and operating capital.

Franchises that offer comprehensive start-up packages can provide more bang for the buck, allowing franchisees to maximize their investment from day one.


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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

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