“Personally, I think we’ve got a great runway to be a billion-dollar brand,” Hood says. “Our goal is to get there, and we’ve got the roadmap and the team to do it.”
There are several reasons Hood feels this way.
As he alluded to, On The Border’s core traits have it positioned to lead a pack of chains playing catch-up.
Convenience. On The Border is simply built for catering and off-premise. Does a steak or burger or fries travel well? That question doesn’t touch the Mexican segment nearly as much.
“Our ability to meet the guest where they are and where they want to be—that is a trend that has allowed us to outpace the industry for the past several years and continue in 2018,” he says. “Our growth in off-premise and catering and delivery is growing at a faster rate than any other part of the casual dining sector.”
“We have catering, off-premise, delivery, both internally and third party,” Hood continues. “So we have the ability not only to take care of guests, large parties, and big groups inside our restaurants, but we have the ability to set up catering and special events off-site as well. That off-site off-premise part of the business continues to grow and delivery, specifically, is one where we’re seeing a lot of traction because Mexican travels so well. And our flavor profile is so well known.”
Digital technology. There are more than a million guests in On The Border’s CRM database. Hood adds that the chain is working on a number of initiatives to help guests not just order On The Border’s food, but to also engage with the brand.
“We’ve been building great communication tools and ways to engage with our guest in the way that they want to be communicated with,” he says. “So we’ve got a good nice running head start there.”