It is one of these success stories which fills you with awe. In the restaurant business we all make plans for rapid expansion, we aim high and push for the next level of success. But if I tell you to grow 300 restaurants from a base of 10, in just under 5 years, you would think again whether you are up for the challenge and whether there is realism in ambition.
The journey which O’Tacos took in the last 5 years, is just that. Staying true to their grass-roots and target audience, the brand found a unique combination of product, audience, tone-of-voice, community & brand values all combined. Supported by a strong business case, combining relative low investments with substantial average restaurant sales and health margins, this formula has led to the dazzling growth figures we are now witnessing.
O’Tacos is build around a clear mono-product, being the French Taco. Not to be confused by the Mexican Taco. Only in France the French-Taco business represents a market volume of approximately EUR 300 million. It all started in Grenoble, with three entrepreneurs who decided to create a branded QSR-concept around the mainstream French Tacos.
The brand has experienced an exponential growth with almost 300 locations in France and Belgium by the summer of 2020, since starting in 2015. And even more impressive 50 new restaurants in Belgium from scratch in just 2 years. This success has been powered by a strong social media campaign (2,5 million subscribers), overpowering rivals like McDonalds and Burger King and a unique brand positioning. They are exceptionally popular with the multi-cultural audience and in the age-category between 15-25 years. One of their hidden drivers is that they are offering a 100% Halal-menu, which is not even part of their day-to-day communication strategy.
Another interesting advantage about their specific target-audience is that it they can open new location close within the communities of their target-audience, which are mostly C/B-locations, allowing for acceptable rent-levels and thus strengthening the business case. As the brand grows and average restaurant sales increases, step by step more high-street/A-locations become available.
Despite an incredible growth, O’tacos kept its identity by staying true to their target audience and by cultivating its communication strategy. It is a school example on how to truly connect with your audience. Deeply rooted into the urban culture, rap music and social media. They led communication campaign, inviting rappers into their shops or proposing their famous ‘giga tacos challenge’ to their guests. Openings of new locations are accompanied by big-mass audiences lining up. The brand is clearly embraced by the digital native generation.
After conquering France and Belgium, O’Tacos is now looking into expanding their business to the Netherlands. With one store already opened in Utrecht, the O’Tacos is looking for authentic local operators to become a part of the continuation of the ongoing success-story.
If you are interested in the brand, or would like to know more about this or other franchisee opportunity, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.