Taco Cabana expands remodeling program

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Taco Cabana will expand its remodeling program, started two years ago in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, to all of its San Antonio and Houston restaurants, the chain said this week.

The San Antonio, Texas-based Mexican fast-casual chain expects the two-city remodeling effort to be finished by this time next year.

"The changes we are making to our restaurants are designed to contemporize and enhance the guest experience while continuing to provide great handmade Mexican food at an affordable price," said Todd Coerver, Taco Cabana’s chief marketing officer, in a statement.

As the remodels were being completed two years ago in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, Coerver said sales at the refreshed units outpaced the market by 4 to 5 percent. The total sales increase for those units was also more than 2 percent higher than the rest of the market.

Taco Cabana’s interiors are being updated with brighter colors, food photography, new salsa bars, wood furniture, flat-screen televisions and the installation of free Wi-Fi for guests. Patios are getting new seating and sun shades with “papel picado” flags in laser-cut metal.

VIDEO: Hear more about the renovations from Taco Cabana executives

Refreshed restaurants also get new service models, with table service from a host who delivers orders rather than guests having to return to the counter to pick up their food. Guests receive complimentary chips to eat with selections from the salsa bar as they wait for their food.

The new trade dress and service were introduced this week in the San Antonio market with the opening of a new restaurant, the first new unit in that city since July 2008. “This new restaurant is an example of the changes guests will see across San Antonio as we remodel and elevate our service offering,” Coerver said.

The 156-unit Taco Cabana chain is owned by Miami-based Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc., which also owns the Pollo Tropical brand. Fiesta was spun off earlier this month from Carrols Restaurant Group Inc. of Syracuse, N.Y.

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless