Torchy’s Tacos is planning an expansion binge in the coming years, with the goal of doubling in size by the end of 2023.
According to Yahoo Finance, CEO G.J. Hart appeared at an investment conference in Orlando this week and indicated plans for the Austin-based chain to expand to numerous new states. Hart predicted that the chain would jump from 71 restaurants now to around 160 by the end of 2023 — in less than four years. Hart also said he hopes to have restaurants in a total of 15 states by that time.
At present, Torchy’s has locations in Arkansas, Colorado (mostly in Denver), and Oklahoma, with imminent plans for three restaurants in Louisiana. However, it’s heavily concentrated in Texas — the majority of Torchy’s outlets are in Austin, Dallas, and Houston alone.
The Yahoo report suggests that investors have taken an interest in the taco chain, which has built a reputation for itself by putting a focus on fresh ingredients — for example, it makes tortillas in house at each restaurant. The article also notes that Torchy’s restaurants rake in particularly high revenues — an average of $4 million annually at each location (for comparison, Chipotle draws an average of $2.5 million per restaurant and Taco Bell, $1.5 million).
It hasn’t yet been revealed where Torchy’s is planning to open new restaurants — however, past expansions have focused on states in relatively close proximity to Texas, suggesting that it might continue focusing on expanding outward from its hub, rather than jumping straight to the coast. The chain has also not been afraid to open in small to mid-sized cities, suggesting that it could focus on branching out into the Midwest, rather than setting its sights on flashier markets (for example, it has plans to open in Lake Charles, Louisiana, but not New Orleans at this stage).
Hart also noted that Torchy’s does solid sales in places close to the Mexican border, where it would generally be expected face stiffer competition from other taquerias — meaning that expansions towards New Mexico or Arizona could be on the cards.