Fort Worth, Texas-based Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, the award-winning, Baja-style, fast-casual Mexican restaurant group, hit a milestone this week with the opening of its 100th restaurant. The 100th Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is in Oklahoma City, making it the fifth Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Oklahoma, the third in Oklahoma City, and the first tenant to open in the brand new Chisholm Creek mixed-use development in northwest Oklahoma City.
Also opening this week were two new Texas locations, one east of Dallas in Royse City and one in Southwest Houston in Meyerland. Further reinforcing its marketing slogan, “Clearly, the World is Getting Fuzzy-er,” Fuzzy’s expects to open its first Las Vegas location by the end of next month. Executive vice president Mel Knight says Fuzzy’s projects to more than double the number of stores it opened in 2015.
The company is celebrating the big 100 milestone with social media contests, a new purple souvenir cup, available with purchase of a large soft drink, and daily giveaways at the new Oklahoma City restaurant. Its pre-opening benefit raised $2,300 for Oklahoma Cleats for Kids, a non-profit that collects and distributes sports shoes, clothes, and equipment to kids in need.
“Hitting the 100 mark is a major milestone, considering that it all humbly began in 2003 with the purchase of that first struggling Fuzzy’s Taco Shop by TCU in Fort Worth,” Knight says. “From that one restaurant, we’ve built a solid, stable company with 100 units in 11 states that is continuing to grow at an accelerated pace.”
Fuzzy’s started offering franchises in 2009. Initially, most of the company’s growth was in Texas, but with the help of its growing franchisee base, the Fuzzy’s Taco Shop concept has grown in other key markets such as Colorado, Florida, and Oklahoma, and is rapidly expanding into other states.
“Over the last year alone, we’ve brought on 20 new franchise groups who will soon be introducing our popular, family-friendly fast-casual concept to new states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia,” Knight says.
That success and growth is what attracted the NRD Fund, a private equity fund, to indirectly acquire a majority interest in Fuzzy’s Taco Shop earlier this year.
Last month, QSR and Franchise Business Review named Fuzzy’s Taco Shop one of 2016’s 10 Best Franchise Deals.