Pancheros Franchise Review: Q&A with Ryan Murrin

Vice President of Marketing & Franchise Development at Pancheros explains why staying engaged with guests helps the Mexican franchise thrive

If you’re going to open a restaurant, understanding how to successfully tap and engage customers is a fundamental key to success. Since our inception in 1992, Pancheros Mexican franchise has successfully grown into a robust franchising program boasting 71 locations throughout  13 states. How so? By utilizing a recipe for simplicity and redefining the standards of modern burritos by using fresh-pressed tortillas and perfectly mixed ingredients with the help of BOB the Tool — a unique mixing tool we developed used to mix ingredients together to create the perfect taste in every bite. 

Fresh Chicken Pancheros Mexican franchise

Although our proven formula has earned us a loyal following of millions of customers, Vice President of Marketing & Franchise Development Ryan Murrin explains how we are taking things a step further with a laser-like focus on our in-store and digital operations to provide our guests with an unmatched customer experience. 

Here’s what he had to say: 

Pancheros recently rolled out new marketing initiatives. How have they impacted same-store sales? 

Murrin: Our goal was to increase our loyalty participation. Much of our marketing has relied on utilizing our Pancheros app to increase loyalty participation, downloads, as well as making our app more relevant to our fans and guests. We have seen significant increases this year in same-store sales and in key measures, such as our app participation rates and app downloads, and more participation in digital and loyalty channels than we have ever seen before. 

Why is it important that Pancheros stay on the cutting edge?

Murrin: It’s important because that’s how consumers expect to deal with brands now. They expect a great in-restaurant and digital experience. Our job is to ensure we enable all of that as well as ensure we do not get in the way of people ordering the way they want to. 

Pancheros has always been known as a Midwestern brand. Now you’re blossoming out of the Midwest and into new markets. Where is the brand going?

Murrin: Great question. The brand is continuing to grow within our areas where it’s strong. Obviously, we’re based in the Midwest but we have a growing presence in the Northeast and in Minneapolis, where we have great franchise partners who are really savvy operators. We’ve been diligent about finding the right partners to grow, and see a lot of opportunity in growing with the right partners, especially in areas that are near where we’ve built brand awareness.

Why do you think Pancheros is succeeding outside the stronghold in the Midwest?  

Murrin: I believe there are a couple of reasons. The first is the experience. Our tortilla is so different than what anyone else is doing in our segment. It sets us apart when someone comes in and orders a burrito and we make that tortilla as they order it. It’s significantly different than what anyone else is doing when you get someone new in those areas, which continues to set us apart. Additionally, our focus on digital, loyalty and integrated marketing to win the neighborhood for our franchisees is an important strategic step we’ve taken this year to really help franchisees grow their business. 

All of the franchisees have highlighted Pancheros family-like, tight-knit culture. What is Pancheros’ culture and why is it important to have one? 

Murrin: Culture is critical. We are here to support the restaurants and franchisees. Everything we do is designed to ensure that we are either driving the business or making it simpler for franchisees and operators to run their business.

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