Published on: September 2, 2022
Written by: Corinne S Kennedy
Article source: Commercial Appeal
Fast-casual Mexican eatery QDOBA is looking to expand its Tennessee footprint, and Memphis is going to be a big part of that.
Lori Osley, QDOBA’s vice president of franchise development, said the company is actively vetting multiple locations in the metro area and talking to potential franchisees. She said QDOBA has looked at Bartlett, Germantown and Southaven but said she thinks over time, the metro area could support eight to 10 locations.
The company currently has more than 700 locations in the United States and Canada including four in Tennessee.
Osley said they see a lot of interest and demand from young professionals looking for fast, fresh healthy options, leading to a push to open up additional locations in metro areas across Tennessee.
However, the chain offers something for any customer, whether you’re counting your calories or treating yourself, she said.
“I like to think the brand appeals to everybody because if you want some queso and chips, hey, you go after it right? But if you want to go in there and you want to have a protein bowl or salad bowl? You know, we really appeal to everyone,” Osley said.
The menu features bowls, burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas and salads topped or filled with a choice of proteins — including plant-based protein — salsas and toppings.
QDOBA is also known for its house-made queso and spicy queso, which can be added to any entry or enjoyed on its own with house-made chips. It also offers catering options for events.
For those interested in becoming a franchisee, Osley said she looks for people who care about the brand, have experience in the restaurant or hospitality industry and someone who wants to create a community in their restaurant through the people they hire and the experience they provide.
“I want them to love the brand and appreciate the value that a franchise can bring to you when you’re just starting, or an established business person,” she said.
Osley said the company is also looking at “non-traditional” opportunities in Tennessee that it has seen success with in other areas like opening locations in airports, military bases and college campuses.
For those who have never been to a QDOBA, Osley said customers should expect fresh, flavorful food ready in a flash.
“Be prepared to have a wonderful, delicious meal the way you want it. And also quick… our goal is to get you through that line in 45 seconds,” she said.
Osley added there was an important point of differentiation between QDOBA and its biggest competitor: You can get guacamole on your burrito bowl for no extra charge.