Taco John’s restaurant chain plans to open in Columbia, SC

Some say a well-balanced diet is a taco in every hand.

And it looks like Midlands residents will have more opportunities to get their hands on tacos in the not-too-distant future, via a national brand looking to expand into the region.

Taco John’s, a chain with nearly 400 restaurants in 21 states, plans to establish locations in the Columbia area, according to Brooks Speirs, vice president of franchise development for Taco John’s.

Speirs said The State Taco John’s was looking for franchisees to work with to break into the Midlands.

“Over the past 12 months, we’ve had record references in all kinds of areas,” Speirs said. “We started looking to expand further in the southeast. … South Carolina and North Carolina are two markets that we believe make a lot of sense for our brand.

Taco John’s would like to open six to 10 stores in the Midlands over the next four years, Speirs said. If all goes well, Speirs said the company would like to reach an agreement with a franchise partner by the first quarter of 2023 and possibly open a first location in the Columbia area in late 2023, with openings at the start. of 2024.

John’s Tacos is a quick-service restaurant offering Mexican cuisine, which rivals chains such as Taco Bell and Del Taco. Taco John’s has been in business for over 50 years and its menu features a variety of tacos, burritos, breakfast entrees, nachos, cold brew coffee, and churros, among others.

Speirs said a particularly popular offering at Taco John’s is his Six pack and one pound package, in which diners can get six tacos and a pound of the restaurant’s Potato Olés, a fried potato confection similar to hash rings.

Taco John’s has a “huge brand following” in the upper Midwest, said Speirs, a brand that almost borders on a “cult following.” He said the company hopes to establish some of that same vibe as it begins to expand in the South.

“We’re kind of a blue-collar restaurant,” Speirs said. “Our food is good and plentiful. … When we look at our demographics where we’re succeeding in the Midwest, parts of Colombia sort of care about that.

Speirs added that Taco John’s has launched a dynamic new physical look for its restaurants in recent years, with bright colors, large windows and other touches that appeal to a younger audience.

Those who may be interested in a franchise with Taco John’s in the Columbia area can visit tacojohnsfranchise.com/ for more information.

Taco John's 2
Taco John’s, a national chain of Mexican restaurants, is looking to open restaurants in the Colombian market. Photo provided.

This story was originally published August 29, 2022 1:25 p.m.

Chris Trainor is a retail reporter for The State and has worked for newspapers in South Carolina for more than 17 years, including previous stops at the (Greenwood) Index-Journal and the (Columbia) Free Times. He is the recipient of numerous awards from the South Carolina Press Association, including honors in column writing, government reporting, profile writing, food writing, election coverage, and more.

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