10 Best Mexican Franchise Opportunities 2024

The Mexican restaurant industry size reached $88.1 billion in 2022 and is estimated to reach $113.85 billion by 2026.

The positive growth rate shows that this might be a great time to enter this industry, and so for this, we have compiled a list of 10 best Mexican franchise opportunities in 2024.

If you are an entrepreneur who is interested in this industry, then make sure to read this guide till the end and explore the investment, fees, and other details of the 10 best options that we have shared in this guide.

10 Best Mexican Franchise Opportunities

1. Taco Bell

Taco-Bell
Founded1962
Franchising Since1964
Estimated Outlets8,218+
Initial Investment$861,950-$2.4 million
Franchise Fees$12,500
Liquidity$500,000
Royalty Fees4% – 6.2%

Taco Bell is one of the leading Mexican-inspired quick-service restaurants. Customers can order made-to-order or customizable tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes from Taco Bell.

The company has more than 8,218 locations around the world, thanks to the brand’s insane popularity.

The initial investment for this franchise is high, $861,950-$2.4 million, but if you are looking for a low-risk and high-profit Mexican food franchise, then Taco Bell is one of the best options that you can go for.

The franchisor offers different kinds of franchise models that you can choose from and also offers training and support of various kinds to help you set up.


2. El Pollo Loco

El-Pollo-Loco-Franchise
Founded1975
Franchising Since1980
Estimated Outlets500+
Initial Investment$782K – $2.1M
Franchise Fees$40,000
Liquidity$900,000
Royalty Fees4%

El Pollo is another great Mexican food restaurant option that you can consider investing in.

Surely, the investment for this one is high, too, but according to the company’s website, the top 25% of El Pollo Loco franchise owners make $3.2 million in annual revenue. The number makes the high investment figure look worth it.

However, the eligibility criteria for the El Pollo Loco franchise are quite high. You must have 5+ years of restaurant experience, the ability to open 3 El Pollo locations, $2 million of net worth, and a liquid capital of $900,000 to be eligible for this franchise.


3. Qdoba Mexcian Eats

Qdoba Mexcian Eats
Founded1995
Franchising Since1997
Estimated Outlets750+
Initial Investment$489,200 – $1,178,000
Franchise Fees$15,000-$30,000
Liquidity$350,000
Royalty Fees5%

Qdoba Mexcian Eats is known for its Mexican-inspired decor, fun atmosphere, and lip-smacking Mexican dishes. This restaurant chain is quite popular and has over 750+ locations across 47 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

To be eligible for this franchise, you need to have a minimum net worth of $1,000,000 and $350,000 in liquid capital. As per the company’s website, Franchised Qdoba Units generate (AUV) of $1,998,222 on average.

So, this is the kind of money that you can expect to make from this franchise if you have the needed investment.


4. Del Taco

Del-Taco-
Founded1964
Franchising Since2009
Estimated Outlets590+
Initial Investment$812,700 – $2,467,500
Franchise Fees$35,000
Liquidity$500,000
Royalty Fees5%

Founded in 1964, Del Taco is one of the top places to grab Mexican-American quick meals. Customers love Del Taco for its delicious tacos, burritos, fries, burgers, and other items.

To be eligible for this franchise, you need to have a net worth of $1 million and a minimum liquid cash of $500,000. In return, you can expect to make as much as $1,618,863 of annual revenue on average.

Although Del Taco is a profitable franchise, you must note that its payback period can be as high as ten years. So, one must consider all aspects before choosing an option to invest in.


5. Baja Fresh

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill
Founded1990
Franchising Since1995
Estimated Outlets110
Initial Investment$310,310 to $1,071,190
Franchise FeesIncluded in initial investment
Liquidity$250,000 
Royalty Fees5%

Baja Fresh is a fast-casual Mexican franchise that is especially known for their outstanding burritos and other freshly made Mexican dishes.

The above franchise options require you to have industry experience; however, that is not the case with Baja Fresh. For this, the franchisor offers the needed training to help you get started.

However, to be eligible, you must have a minimum net worth of $500,000 and a liquid capital of $250,000.

The franchisor does not offer financing help, but the best part is that they charge only 5% as a royalty fee.


6. Taco John’s

Taco John's
Founded1969
Franchising Since1969
Estimated Outlets400+
Initial Investment$942,000 to $1.388 million
Franchise Fees$20,000 – $25,000
Liquidity$500,000
Royalty Fees5%

Taco John’s is one of the largest quick-service Mexican food chain restaurants in the U.S.

What started with a single taco stand in Cheyenne, WY, has grown to more than 400 locations in 23 states today.

To be eligible for this franchise, you do not need industry experience. However, you must have business management expertise or skills. Surely the investment is quite a lot, but on average, you can expect to make $1,697,169 annually from this franchise.

Also, the company does not have in-house financing, but they can help you get in touch with third-party lenders to sort out your investment needs.


7. Taco Time

Taco Time
Founded1960
Franchising Since1962
Estimated Outlets300+
Initial Investment$331,150 and $762,800
Franchise Fees$30,000
Liquidity$150,000
Royalty Fees6% or $400 per week

Taco Time is a beloved Mexican food franchise with locations in both the U.S. and Canada. The QSR restaurant is known for its fresh and high-quality Mexican dishes.

The business has been running for over 60 years now and has a successful business model.
To be eligible, you only need $150,000 in liquid capital and a minimum net worth of $250,000.

As you can see, compared to other Mexican food franchises that we have shared till now, this one costs a bit less in terms of both investment and eligibility requirements.

Taco Time is a great franchise opportunity for both new and experienced individuals.


8. Moe’s Southwest grill

Moe's Southwest Grill
Founded2000
Franchising Since2001
Estimated Outlets700+
Initial Investment$474,900 – $1,109,840
Franchise Fees$30,500
Liquidity$300,000+
Royalty Fees5%

Moe’s Southwest Grill is a leading Mexican franchise chain that was founded in 2000 and has expanded to more than 700 locations already.

This franchise is a part of Focus brand, which also owns other successful franchise brands such as Cinnabon, Jamba’s, etc.

To be eligible for this franchise, you need to have a minimum net worth of $1,000,000 and an initial investment of $474,900 – $1,109,840.


9. Taco Bueno

Taco Bueno
Founded1967
Franchising Since2004
Estimated Outlets180+
Initial Investment$639,000 – $1,593,000
Franchise Fees$35,000
Liquidity$450,000
Royalty Fees5%

The first Taco Bueno location was opened in Abilene, TX, with the motive of sharing fresh and authentic Mexican food, and today, the company has successfully expanded to over 180 locations.

The ideal candidate for Taco Bueno is someone who has experience running a restaurant, business management skills, a passion for growing, etc.

If you wish to get more details about this franchise, then you can visit the company’s website.


10. California Tortilla

California Tortilla
Founded1995
Franchising Since2003
Estimated Outlets38
Initial Investment$402,000 – $697,000
Franchise Fees$40,000
Liquidity$250,000
Royalty Fees5%

California Tortilla is a unique franchise that serves “California-style” Mexican food and has over 38 outlets currently.

The franchisor is seeking candidates who are passionate and willing to run a business. The company is hyper-focused on providing the best quality products and exceptional services and expects the franchisee to fulfill that.

To be eligible, you must have a liquid capital of $250,000 or more and a minimum net worth of $1 million.


Comparison Of 5 Best Mexican Franchise Opportunities

CompanyFoundedOutletsFranchise FeeInitial InvestmentRoyalty Fee
Taco Bell19628,218+$12,500$861,950 – $2.4 million4% – 6.2%
El Pollo Loco1975500+$40,000$782K – $2.1M4%
Qdoba Mexcian Eats1995750+$15,000-$30,000$489,200 – $1,178,0005%
Del Taco1964590+$35,000$812,700 – $2,467,5005%
Baja Fresh1990110Included in initial investment$310,310 – $1,071,1905%

When Should You Choose A Mexican Franchise?

Here are some questions you must ask yourself when choosing to invest in a Mexican franchise:

Do I have the needed investment?

As you can see, Mexican franchises require a hefty investment and do not cost cheap. So, before you take the first step, you must identify whether you have the right kind of investment and net worth.

If yes, then you can move ahead with your planning, and if not, then you must work on building a solid net worth first.

What is the demand in my area like?

Although a lot of people like Mexican food, it is still necessary to find out if there is demand for Mexican food in your area or not.

There could be cultural differences, and preferences could vary depending on where you live. So, in order to ensure success in this business, you must do your research.

Am I okay with having limited control over my business?

You must know that when you buy a franchise, you do not get full control over the business. The menu items, pricing recipe, timings, etc., will all be controlled by the franchisor, and you will have a minimal say in it.

So, if you are okay with limited control, then franchising is the way for you, and if not, then you should open an independent business instead.


Things You Need To Know Before Choosing A Mexican Franchise

Before you decide to invest in a Mexican food franchise, here are some things that you must consider:

1. Financing Help

As you can see from the options shared above, the initial investment for Mexican food franchises is usually high.

So, if you are short on the needed investment, then you might want to look for a franchise that offers in-house or third-party financing help.

This will allow you to arrange the needed capital for the franchise with less fuss.

2. Royalty & Marketing Fee

The majority of franchisors charge a set percentage of marketing and royalty fees each month in return for allowing you to use their brand name.

This fee could range between 2%-10%. Make sure to choose a Mexican franchise that charges this fee on the lower side of the bracket. This is because this will dictate how much money you will get to keep.

3. Failure Rate

Every franchise has a failure or success rate. You should look for an option that has a good success rate.

This will help you to be confident about the investment that you are making and will also allow you to dodge risky options.

4. Payback Period

The initial investment and earnings determine the payback period of a franchise. The less your earnings are, the more time you will take to repay your initial investment and enjoy your earnings completely.

So, make sure you choose an option that has a low payback period. Anything under 5-6 years is a good option.


Wrap Up

After doing immense research we were able to narrow down these 10 best Mexican Franchise opportunities that you can invest in. These franchise options are all successful businesses with a proven business model.

Surely, the required investment and other eligibility criteria may be high for some people, but if you can arrange the capital, then this could turn out to be a profitable venture for you.


FAQ’s

How Much Does A Mexican Franchise Cost?

Based on the options that we have shared in this guide, a Mexican food franchise can cost you anywhere between $310,310 to $2.4 million. The investment will depend upon the kind of brand you want to invest in.

How Much Can I Make From A Mexican Franchise?

The money that you can make from a Mexican franchise will vary a lot depending on the brand you choose to invest in, your location, etc. However, on average, you can expect to make $1.2 million in annual revenue from this business.

Is Mexican Food Business Profitable?

Mexican food is quite popular in many areas and is in growing demand. Also, there are so many successful Mexican businesses that have been running for years now. This shows that the Mexican food business is definitely profitable.

Which Is The Cheapest Mexican Franchise To Own?

As per the options shared in this guide, Baja Fresh is the cheapest franchise to own, with an initial investment starting at just $310,310, followed by Taco Time, with an initial investment starting at $331,150.

What Is The Profit Margin In Mexican Food Industry?

The profit margin in the mexican food industry lies between 6% to 12%.

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