How Big is the Industry?

Mexican fast-casual restaurants continue to outperform the rest of the industry

Americans love Mexican food – and that might be one of the biggest understatements of all time. Just think about your own life: how often do you eat Mexican food? Upserve reports that “last year alone, Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos,” (1)  and MIC reports that the majority of millennials confess to eating at least one burrito a week, with 72% of that demographic owning up to eating two or more burritos a week. (2)

It’s no surprise then to learn that the Mexican food industry has blossomed into a $52 billion industry. The Atlantic Monthly reports that “nearly half of Americans eat Mexican food at least once a month, and that almost everyone is familiar with Mexican food.” (3) Mexican food is one of life’s simple pleasures, not only does it taste delicious, it also has the unique ability to cater to all types of lifestyle preferences and flavor profiles – from comfort food, to vegan, to the paleo diet and beyond. In an article entitled, “Has the Fast Food Industry Taken Over Mexican Food,” Upserve gets to the heart of why Mexican food is so universally appealing:

“Your guests want to be able to mix and match their food habits, with healthy and well…a little decedent,” the publication writes. “They want something a little cheesy, but still loaded with good for you components, and Mexican food is the perfect vessel. It can be made as healthy or unhealthy as the guest wants – Best part? This trend doesn’t come at a cost to you with 88% of those asked are willing to pay more for healthier food.” (4)

Pancheros is exploding out of the midwest

The popularity of Mexican food makes it a great time to open a Mexican Fast Casual restaurant

While there are about 60,000 Mexican food restaurants across the country, the market is not even close to being saturated. Franchise Direct reports that Mexican food franchise brands, in particular, continue to reap the benefits:

  • The restaurant industry has found that out of all its different sub-industries, Mexican food franchises are outperforming all other types of restaurants or fast food franchises. With increasing trends pointing at a boom in ethnic cuisine and an emphasis on fast foods, Mexican food is winning consumers over.
  • According to MarketResearch.com, the Mexican restaurant industry in the United States is estimated at $52 billion, and is predicted to keep on growing. With annual growth rates averaging at 8% for Mexican foods, this market sector is taking off as the fastest growing part of the restaurant industry. (5)

Consumer spending on Mexican food is likewise growing. Stashlearn points out that, “The percentage of people spending between $15 and $20 per meal on Mexican food increased to 38% from 26% between 2016 and 2018.” (6)

Pancheros is ready to capitalize on the outsized demand for Mexican food

Pancheros is a sleeper brand with a cult-like following in the Mexican fast-casual industry. Widely beloved in the Midwest, where the brand has won millions of customers who crave our fresh-pressed tortillas, our homemade queso, salsas, guacamole, and more, Pancheros is known for serving up the perfect burrito that stands up on its own, like a tower of absolute deliciousness.

Since our founding in 1992, Pancheros has grown to over 65 locations in 13 states across the country. In that time, Pancheros has simplified its business model, instituted a comprehensive training platform and launched systems and processes that help franchisees thrive in their businesses. Now, Pancheros is actively focused on expanding across the United States for the first time, and the timing couldn’t be better – Americans have never had a bigger appetite for Mexican food than they do right now.

“We’re a brand with a cult-following and a lot of people in the Midwest really love Pancheros and that fandom is only going to grow as we grow across the United States,” says Ryan Murrin, VP of Marketing and Franchise Development with Pancheros. “We’ve proven the concept not only in the Midwest but also in the Northeast, and the brand is thriving in these markets. We’re opening new restaurants in Texas – and the demand for Pancheros to enter new markets is extremely high. We expect to have significant growth in the years to come.”

  1. (1) Upserve, “Has the Fast Food Industry Taken Over Mexican Food?” paragraph 6, upserve.com/restaurant-insider/fast-food-industry-taken-mexican-food/
  2. (2) MIC, “Millennials Can’t Go a Week Without Eating a Burrito, Survey Finds,” paragraph 3, www. mic.com/articles/153375/millennials-can-t-go-a-week-without-eating-a-burrito-survey-finds#.XV5iwL5dI
  3. (3) The Atlantic, “Mexican Food Enters the Find-Dining Realm,” paragraph 8, www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/04/mexican-food-enters-the-fine-dining-realm/478341/
  4. (4) Upserve, “Has the Fast Food Industry Taken Over Mexican Food?” paragraph 5, upserve.com/restaurant-insider/fast-food-industry-taken-mexican-food/
  5. (5) Franchise Direct, “Trends and Facts about Mexican Food Franchises, “paragraphs 1 and 3, www.franchisedirect.com/foodfranchises/mexicanfoodfranchises/345
  6. (6) StashLearn, “Let’s Taco ‘Bout America’s Obsession with Mexican Food,” paragraph 16, www.learn.stashinvest.com/mexican-food-business

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