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quesadilla gorilla

Quesadilla Gorilla plans to franchise locations in Texas and Idaho. Photo contributed

published on October 17, 2022 - 10:09 AM
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Locally owned restaurant Quesadilla Gorilla launched its franchising program last week, a much anticipated move made possible by the Small Business Bond Marketplace (SMBX), which generated the revenue necessary to become eligible for franchising.

The campaign, which operates similar to a crowdfunding campaign, raised more than $380,000, on the heels of their first successful SMBX fundraiser which brought in $165,000 in 2020.

“We were in the process of franchising prior to that,” said Miguel Reyes, CEO and owner of Quesadilla Gorilla. “Part of the funds were going towards the actual launch and rollout of the program.”

Quesadilla Gorilla opened its first location in Visalia in 2013, and since has opened an additional four locations, including their first location out of the Valley in San Luis Obispo. They also own a food truck.

Pending approvals, Quesadilla Gorilla aims to have agreements in place for six franchised locations outside of California by the end of the year, with tentative agreements already in place in College Station, Texas and Moscow, Idaho.

Both cities are home to a high concentration of university students, with Reyes initially targeting college towns. That model is reflected in the decision to open in San Luis Obispo earlier this year.

“We’re targeting those specific areas first and then seeing where we go from there,” Reyes said.

Franchising in California is also on the horizon. While not approved to franchise locations in here yet, Reyes said that approval could come as early as January.

“With California, it can take anywhere from two to eight months to get state approval,” he said. “I’m hoping it’s a lot sooner than that.”

Filing season for franchises in California, according to Reyes, is at its busiest in the beginning of the year — from January to March — a time when franchises must update their Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD).

Reyes’ decision to file paperwork early is a strategy he hopes will help the company avoid the “busy season” next year.

“We’re in the process of submitting now,” Reyes said. “There’s a few requirements that you have to do in California that take just a little longer. We’re waiting on a financial auditor — a CPA — to audit our first year.”

Each new location will likely bring at least 15 new employees to the workforce per store. With the hope of six franchise agreements by the end of the year and an additional 24 planned by the end of 2023, Quesadilla Gorilla hopes to add a total of 450 new jobs to the workforce.

Franchising opportunities are available at the Quesadilla Gorilla website, which includes a rough timeline outlining what prospective franchisees can expect.


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