Hemant Patel, a current multi-brand franchisee, joins the emerging authentic Mexican fast casual brand as a key part of their continued expansion across Greater Chicagoland.


Hemant Patel knows first-hand why the United States of America is commonly referred to as the “land of opportunities”. When he immigrated to the states from India in 1991, Hemant thought he had his whole life figured out – go to medical school, pass the exams, and become a Doctor of Internal Medicine. At that time, it was the only path he knew. Hemant’s parents told him good grades mean a career in medicine or engineering. But, after years of being a doctor and becoming bored of the day-to-day schedule, Hemant decided to make a career transition. He embraced the idea of America being the land of opportunity and chased his lifelong dream of being a business owner.


Hemant worked his way up and became a seasoned franchisee. He has an array of franchise brands in his portfolio such as Subway and Checkers. When looking for the next step in his franchising journey, Hemant was drawn to Cilantro Taco Grill the moment he stepped into one of their locations and tasted the fresh, vibrant recipes and flavors of Mexico. He had been waiting for more than seven years for Cilantro Taco Grill to franchise. As soon as Hemant heard they were franchising in 2023, he jumped at the opportunity.


Hemant has a few main reasons why he chose to become the first franchisee with Cilantro Taco Grill and why he believes this opportunity can empower others who have a passion being part of a fast-growing brand.


Diversifying Portfolio with an Authentic Concept: Hemant is an experienced franchisee, currently owning locations of Subway and Checkers, while also operating several gas stations. Seeking to diversity his portfolio, Hemant was drawn to Cilantro Taco Grill’s for its authentic Mexican cuisine, recognizing its growth potential and the opportunities to expand into new territories.


Hemant plans to open at least six locations of Cilantro Taco Grill in Chicagoland. His first location will be in Sugar Grove, a town west of Chicago, where he has prior experience operating a Subway location in the community. He says the area is in need of a stellar, authentic Mexican fast casual concept, and envisions opening more locations of Cilantro Taco Grill to capitalize on the growing consumer demand for more authentic dining experiences.


Immigrant Perspective: Sharing a similar immigrant journey with Cilantro Taco Grill’s founder, Temoc Morfin, Hemant aligns with the company’s overarching mission to empower and provide paths for immigrants to build generational wealth through franchise ownership.





After immigrating to the United States with no business experience, Hemant has grown into one of the most respected and accomplished franchisees in the fast casual and QSR industry. Hemant appreciates that Temoc had the passion and drive to turn his idea of an authentic Mexican fast casual concept into a reality, adding that it’s important to him to share one’s culture and tradition through food. The shared experience of being an immigrant and an entrepreneur means they both know the importance of creating opportunities for people of similar backgrounds.


Expansion Plans: Being the first franchisee holds significant value for Hemant, who is thrilled to join the Cilantro Taco Grill team. With ambitious plans to open approximately six locations within the next two to three years across Chicagoland and neighboring communities, Hemant is poised to capitalize on the brand’s growth potential and further embed Cilantro Taco Grill within the regional culinary landscape.


One of the difficulties for working with a larger company is finding new territories and opportunities for growth since there are already so many existing locations. Hemant’s other franchises, such as Subway and Dunkin’, have thousands of locations nationwide, so he is excited to tap into new markets that he’s not able to with his other brands. Hemant says he knew Cilantro Taco Grill would be a hit in any market.


Supportive Franchisors: Hemant has received unwavering support from Cilantro Taco Grill’s franchisors, finding easy access to top personnel and assistance with every aspect of business setup. They foster a familial atmosphere where he is set up to be successful as a franchisee.

As a Founding Franchisee, Hemant can play an integral role in discussing new ideas and changes with the Cilantro Taco Grill team. They have created an environment where employees and franchisees alike feel valued, respected, and motivated to perform their best.


Hemant says Cilantro Taco Grill fosters a sense of belonging, encouraging employees to grow within the company and becoming integral parts as this brand continues to grow.
















This partnership between Hemant and Cilantro Taco Grill underscores the expansion of Cilantro Taco Grill and their commitment to serving authentic Mexican cuisine to a growing market.