Q&A with Ryan Ursrey of Roll-Em-Up Taquitos
Describe your organisation – how long has it been in operation? when did you start franchising? how many franchisees do you currently have?
We are the only taquito focused multi-unit fast casual concept in the world. The story of Roll-Em-Up Taquitos’ is simple; it began in my childhood home, where my father and I fell in love with my mother, Karen’s, famous beef taquitos. My family and I always talked about opening a taquitos-only eatery, but unfortunately, my mother passed before that dream became a reality. Fast-forward to today, we are “Blastin Reggae” and opened the first Roll-Em-Up Taquitos in Chino Hills, California in 2019, where we sold an average of 3,500 taquitos a day. We opened our second location in Brea, California and our third in Victorville, California. In May, we made the decision to begin franchising and currently have 71 units sold and under development agreement with another 70 in the pipeline. Our next two locations are set to open in the next six months.
What is your main product/service?
Our menu is simple but focused and easy to execute. Taquitos of course, are the star. Braised shredded prime beef slow cooked overnight, marinated chicken, avocado, potato and fresh grated cheese. Roll-Em-Up Taquitos are made only with fresh ingredients and are hand-rolled daily with corn or flour tortillas and pan-fried in custom cast iron skillets, just like Mama Karen made ‘em. You won’t find a freezer in the joint! Traditional toppings include cheese, sour cream, freshly made guacamole, in addition to an array of proprietary, house made dipping sauces, including a mild or spicy house sauce, guac sauce, queso sauce, and our famous “lit” sauce.
Rounding out the menu is our wildly popular take on street corn, whole ears of corn on a stick that come loaded with butter, mayo, cotija cheese; dusted with Hot Cheetos and tajin or coated in queso, for a crave worthy treat served conveniently in a Roll-Em-Up cup and lid. House made beans and rice are also available and for dessert, churro donuts are fried to order and drizzled with caramel sauce. Beverages include batch craft soda along with assorted flavors of horchata.
What type of person would ‘fit’ your franchisee profile?
We look for individuals who have franchise experience owning multi-unit, quick service restaurants, or have significant business experience with the agreement that they will bring in an “operator”. In addition, it is crucial for our franchisees to have an entrepreneurial spirit and a love for what they do.
Where are your current locations/territories? Where are locations/territories available?
After opening our first location in Chico Hills, California, we’ve targeted expansion across our home state. With the majority of Southern and Central California are sold out of franchise opportunities, we are now starting to focus on Northern California and neighboring states. We plan to expand in Arizona, Nevada, and Texas come next year.
Why is there a need for this product/service? Why are you different to your competition?
While the entire industry is fighting over who has the best chicken sandwiches, pizza, and cheeseburgers, we are in a category by ourselves. We utilize fresh, never frozen ingredients in our hand-rolled taquitos that we panfry in our custom-made skillets. Stop the violence, eat a taquito!
How do you look after your franchisees? e.g. what support/training/back up do you offer?
We’ve created a franchising concept that is approachable, offering support to our franchisees in the areas of real estate, design, construction, training, tech, and marketing. Perhaps most notably, we have implemented a wide-ranging tech stack. These are designed for much larger brands but we have decided to invest early so our franchisees have the best tools available to them. In addition, we offer ongoing support to ensure that our franchisees have all the necessary resources to continue growing.
Plans for new systems/concepts in 2022
We currently hand roll over 3,500 taquitos at each store daily. In 2022, we will introduce automation to roll the taquitos, in an effort to keep up with the rising demand. We will also roll out a breakfast menu, giving taquitos a morning twist. In addition, we have partnered with and are currently implementing services that offer operational support including Restaurant 365 (Accounting, Inventory, Scheduling), Olo (Online Ordering), Punchh (Loyalty/Rewards), Franconnect (CRM/ Operations), Toast (POS).
Where do you see the Franchise in the next five years?
Our goal is to have 250 open locations in the U.S. with 1,200 units under development agreement.
What is your advice for those exploring franchise opportunities?
My advice is to find a franchise concept that you have passion for. This idea aligns with the saying, “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. “Taquitos have always held a special place in my heart, making the concept of Roll-Em-Up Taquitos a no-brainer.
For more information visit The first Taquito-Focused Franchise – Roll-Em-Up Franchise (rollemup.com)