Local business takes King Kong steps toward expansion

Quesadilla Gorilla receives state approval to begin franchising their business throughout California, makes moves in Valley expansion and up and down the coast

VISALIA – Quesadilla lovers from up and down the coast of California may begin to see one of Visalia’s favorite homegrown restaurants pop up nearby before the end of the year.

On April 4, Quesadilla Gorilla owners Miguel and Mikayla Reyes finally received state approval to franchise their business within California. The couple began the process in October and Miguel said he is relieved they can now begin the process of talking to some potential franchisees. They currently have a handful of leads in the Valley as well as some up and down the coast. Despite taking six months to get the show on the road, Quesadilla Gorilla still plans to open 12 locations in California before the end of the year.

“So we kind of dialed back just a little bit as far as our projections. Our goal for the remainder of this year is still 12 franchises,” Miguel Reyes said. “[We are] mainly focusing on California this year and part of next year, only due to that being the majority of where our brand awareness is. And then expanding our horizon out of state after that.”

After the 12 franchises have been opened this year, Miguel said they are aiming for 18 additional openings in 2024. Currently he said they are in talks with a potential franchisee in Merced. There are also interested parties in Kingsburg and Exeter, but Miguel said they are determining if the pull is strong enough, especially in a small town like Exeter. Outside the Valley, the restaurant is looking particularly in college towns. He said they have leads in the Rancho Cucamonga, Orange County and San Diego areas.

Miguel said they are looking for strong and involved owner operators for their franchises. Currently they are relying on their own marketing to current customers who would be interested in setting up their own Quesadilla Gorilla shop. He said within the next few months, they will most likely begin “aggressively advertising” with strategic markets in mind.

“So right now we’re doing mainly our own marketing to our current customers,” Miguel said. “So a lot of our leads have been customer based.”

Additionally, the Reyes’s are looking for individuals who will look out for their community as a whole, including their staff members. The need to make sure staff is properly trained and taken care of is a high priority according to Miguel. Additionally the Reyes’s are putting a lot of their efforts into the operational side to make it easier on their franchisees.

“We’re putting a lot of training and focus on our infrastructure and making sure they have everything to succeed,” Miguel said. “But it’s still going to need that operator who is hitting the streets and marketing locally and connecting locally.”

The franchise’s focus is to expand throughout California and build their brand recognition. Eventually they will expand their marketing outside California and begin expanding into the surrounding states. In the beginning they will most likely stay in the Western states and into the Texas area. They do currently have a few leads in Washington, but they are still waiting for their Franchising Disclosure Documents (FDD) in the state before they can move forward.

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