Cabana Grill, a new concept created by San Antonio-based Taco Cabana, opened its first restaurant last week in Snellville, Ga., to welcoming crowds and notable opening-day sales. Taco Cabana and Cabana Grill are owned and operated by Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRGI), and the recent launch continues Fiesta’s execution of its east-west expansion strategy for all of its fast-casual brands, which also include Pollo Tropical.
With more than 170 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, Taco Cabana has served fresh, handmade Mexican cuisine for more than 35 years. Cabana Grill brings the best of Taco Cabana’s delicious, authentic Mexican food and elevates the experience with menu and service updates and new design elements that reflect a true Mexican experience, including native papel picado folk art accents and an inviting open kitchen.
“Taco Cabana has had a loyal following for many years throughout Texas, and our goal with the Cabana Grill brand is to connect with Southeast diners in the same way. This strong initial response is a sign that we’ve hit the mark,” said Fiesta President and CEO Tim Taft. “The successful launch of Cabana Grill is an important first step in the eastward expansion of this brand and toward fulfilling Fiesta’s mission to revitalize and grow our brands.”
Fiesta was formed in 2012 to focus on growing the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana brands. Since then, Fiesta has formulated a strategy for a successful east-west expansion that brings Taco Cabana into the Southeast under the Cabana Grill banner, while bringing Florida-based Pollo Tropical west. The brand recently opened its first Texas Pollo Tropical restaurant in the Dallas area to large crowds and better-than-expected sales.
Taco Cabana Chief Operating Officer Todd Coerver, a 20-year restaurant veteran who has been with the company since 2009, spearheaded the development of the Cabana Grill brand.
“Cabana Grill is born out of the most successful Mexican chain in Texas,” said Coerver. “By taking the best of Taco Cabana and elevating it with a design that reflects the fun and flavor of Mexico with a broader appeal, we’re offering a unique and compelling twist on fast-casual Mexican that the Southeastern U.S. had yet to experience.”
Coerver and his team will oversee the opening of the next Cabana Grill restaurant in Jacksonville, Fla., later this year.
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