Taco Maker airs expansion plans

OGDEN Utah Taco Maker Inc., the franchisor of more than 185 quick-service restaurants, said it plans to open 25 more units this year in the United States and Puerto Rico.

The largest Mexican quick-service brand in Puerto Rico, Taco Maker said it also has hundreds of stores in development around the globe for its concepts, which include its namesake brand, burger operation Jake’s Over the Top and smoothie chain Mayan Juice.

President and chief executive Carlos Budet said the company has commitments from franchisee developers in the United States as well as in India, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Russia, Spain and other European and Latin American countries

“Even in a slow economy we continue to see tremendous growth because of our innovative ideas and unmatched quality in the QSR industry,” Budet said.

The 25 units scheduled to open this year will all be Taco Maker stores, though franchisees have the option to co-brand with one of the company's other two concepts, officials said.

The Ogden-based company opened 15 stores in 2008, including six locations in Wal-Mart stores in Utah, Florida and South Carolina.

Taco Maker also said it was launching a new menu item, called The Maker, which is a one-pound burrito with almost a half pound of meat.