After simplifying its model with a focus on late-night business and improved economics, Margaritas Mexican Restaurants—a popular 35-year-old Northeast full-service brand known for its celebratory atmosphere, scratch kitchen and the best margaritas outside of Mexico—is now targeting markets across the Midwest and Southeast U.S. region for franchise growth, while also remaining focused on further growth in the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic as well.
With a mix of 25 franchise and corporate-owned locations throughout Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the established restaurant brand has successfully built a loyal following based on encouraging guests to have fun, drink great margaritas and experience the food, culture and hospitality of Mexico – without getting on a plane. The brand’s “leave your bags at the door” mentality aims to provide a vacation vibe for its guests ranging from families to the late-night crowd through decor, upbeat music tracks and personable, energetic team members.
Margaritas’ renewed franchising efforts follow several years of internal reflection and investments in a foundation for future growth. As part of the process, in the spring of 2020, Bob Ray, who has been with Margaritas since 1992 in a wide variety of positions, became an owner and board member assuming the role of Chief Operating Officer. The brand also expanded its leadership team to include a star-studded mix of owners and board members with decades of experience managing and growing successful restaurants.
Alongside founding brothers John and Dave Pelletier, the Margaritas leadership team includes Larry Cates, who served as president of Applebee’s International; Anthony Ackil, the founder of B.GOOD, a trendsetting, healthy fast-casual restaurant chain; Hexagon Hospitality LLC founder Mitch Kahn; and Paul Twohig, the former president of Dunkin Donuts and former president of MOD Super-Fast Pizza Holdings LLC.
During the pandemic, Margaritas re-engineered its business model focusing more on high-profit dayparts like dinner and late-night, reducing labor and food costs and simplifying operations without sacrificing fun or quality.
“By removing lunch and opening later in the day for dinner and evening bar, we significantly increased efficiency and improved economics of the restaurants,” said Margaritas COO Bob Ray. “It’s resulted in happier team members, which all together contributes to a better guest experience. We did all of this without compromising our scratch kitchen cooking or our craft margaritas. We’ve got the successful formula down to a science.”
The renewed franchising efforts, being led by Vice President of Franchise Development Tom Radomski, will focus on expanding Margaritas beyond the Northeast. “Ideal candidates would be highly experienced, multi-unit operators that have the infrastructure in place to support high-volume, full-service restaurants in markets throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia and Florida,” Radomski said, noting the total investment for a full-service Margaritas Mexican restaurant ranges from $1.5 to $2.5 million, depending on location on square footage.
Margaritas Mexican Restaurants has delighted guests since 1986 with colorful, authentic décor and atmosphere, delicious Mexican recipes, 20+ hand shaken, made-to-order margaritas, and an inviting, fun experience for any occasion. In order to keep the brand special, founder John Pelletier made countless adventures to Mexico to seek out and purchase carved chairs, furnishings, artwork, and colorful tile from local artisans, ultimately using this décor to highlight Mexican culture in the restaurants. Today, that spirit lives on with managers and staff taking organized trips to central Mexico to visit artist communities and manufacturing towns to immerse themselves in the food and culture.
News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.