The regions of Tampa Bay and West Central Florida will soon play host to the hot, fast casual restaurant
chain, Taco Del Mar. The company announced today it signed Mike Taylor and Ben Sabo of Tampa based 2 Jens Group, LLC as its regional Master Developer.
2 Jens Group plans to open more than 80 locations within five years. A restaurant veteran with a 12-year history of operating three Ft. Myers- based Hungry Howies and two Wingz Xpress restaurants, Taylor is a
Bradenton native and Palmetto resident looking forward to developing closer to home. Sabo, a 30-year Floridian, resides in Bradenton. Both are enthusiastic about Taco Del Mar coming to the area.
The developers said they began considering a Taco Del Mar development in 2003, and were particularly excited about the emerging Mexican fast-casual restaurant segment.
“After meeting the company leaders and visiting established restaurants, Ben and I knew Taco Del Mar would be a hit in Florida,” Taylor said. “The brand stands out from other Mexi-fresh concepts: Great food with
slow-cooked meats, streamlined ease of operation, and a relatively lower cost to start up; most importantly, Taco Del Mar brings a proven, 14-year track record.”
Taco Del Mar features 24-ounce mondo chicken, beef, and pork burritos with a choice of four tortillas, fish tacos, enchiladas, kids’ meals, taco salads, vegetarian and vegan offerings. The store decor sets the “Inner
Baja” mood with surf murals, thatched palapas, mounted sailfish, long board tabletops and background music.
Immediate target areas include Sarasota, Brandon, and New Port Richey. Letters of intent are circulating for sites in Sarasota, Brandon, New Port Richey, Zephyrhills, Largo and Venice. 2 Jens Group will open its training store in Sarasota. Sabo, Taylor, and his son, Christian Taylor, plan to franchise a number of their own Taco Del Mar restaurants.
Taylor and Sabo have aligned with Bill Stevens of Prime Sites Realty for commercial real estate selection and Steve Marsh of Front Runner Ad Group for local store marketing. Community initiatives with Lions Club
International are planned at forthcoming Taco Del Mar locations. Taylor is currently screening prospective franchisees in Hudson, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Brandon and Lakeland. Interested, prospective franchisees may attend an informational franchise road show on July 11, 6:30 p.m., at the Marriott Tampa Westshore, 1001 N Westshore.
Co-founded in 1992 by brothers James and John Schmidt, who were inspired by Baja and California’s surfside taco stands, the company remains independent, unlike many “Mexi-fresh” restaurant concepts that are publicly traded. A West Coast innovator of “mondo burritos and rippin tacos,” there are 200 Taco Del Mar locations throughout North America.