Rank no.105 – Qdoba Mexican Grill – US

Rank no.105 – Qdoba Mexican Grill – US

Rank no.105 – Qdoba Mexican Grill – US

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Products & Services: Fast-casual Mexican food

Number of Locations: 597

Total Investment: $594K – 795K

Founded: 1995

Began Franchising: 1997

About Qdoba Mexican Grill

Anthony Miller and partner Robert Hauser brought San Francisco-style burritos to Denver, Colorado, with the opening of the first Qdoba Mexican Grill in 1995. The company began franchising in 1997, and in 2003, it was acquired by Jack in the Box Inc.

Franchise Units

2013 311 2 0 284
2012 303 0 0 306
2011 329 0 0 239
2010 331 0 0 182
2009 345 0 0 146
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units in the following states:
Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Midwest, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northeast, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South, South Carolina, South Dakota, Southeast, Southwest, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, West, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming.
Franchisor is seeking new units in Canada.

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $594,000 – $795,000
Franchise Fee: $30,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 5%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 10 years, renewable

Net Worth: $750,000 – $2,000,000
Liquid Cash Available: $250,000 – $500,000


64% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 15. Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed..

Franchise Fee
Startup Costs
Accounts Receivable

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: 4 weeks.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Ad slicks,
Other marketing support: Local store marketing

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #105 (2013), #90 (2012), #95 (2011), #102 (2010), #94 (2009),
Fastest-Growing: #76 (2009),
America’s Top Global: #77 (2012), #80 (2011), #84 (2010),
Qdoba Mexican Grill
Qdoba Mexican Grill logo
Type Subsidiary
Industry Restaurants
Founded 1995 (DenverColorado)
Headquarters Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Number of locations 600
Products BurritosTacosQuesadillas,NachosTaco saladTortilla soupMexican Gumbo
Owner(s) Jack in the Box
Website qdoba.com

Qdoba Mexican Grill (/kjuːˈdbə/ kew-doh-bə),[1] is a chain of fast casual Fresh Mex restaurants in the United States and Canada serving Mexican-style cuisine. The company is owned by Jack in the Box, having been owned and expanded by ACI Capitaluntil 2003.[2]

Founder and Colorado native Anthony Miller and partner Robert Hauser opened the first restaurant in 1995. The Denver, Colorado, location was an immediate success with first year revenues exceeding $1,500,000. The cost of opening the 1,300-square-foot (120 m2) store was only $180,000.

The restaurants have gone through a few name changes. After initially opening as Zuma, the name was changed to Z-TECA Mexican Grill to avoid confusion with other Zuma Mexican restaurants. When that name was deemed to be too similar to Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill the name Qdoba was invented.

Qdoba now operates over 600 fast casual restaurant locations throughout the United States. In 2003, San Diego-based Jack in the Box company acquired the chain from ACI Capital, a private equity management firm that was the outgrowth of commodity-trader A.C. Israel Enterprises in the 19th century.[2] The first Canadian location opened on December 3, 2012 in Brandon, Manitoba. In June of 2013, Qdoba announced it would close a total of 67 under performing restaurants, including 18 in Chicagoland.[3]

Qdoba serves burritos made in the San Francisco burrito style,[4] tacosquesadillas, taco salads, chile con queso, tortilla soup, Mexican gumbo, and fresh guacamole. The restaurant fits into the “fast casual” category, offering both quick service and a higher quality of food than typical fast-food restaurants. Customers order by selecting an entrée, then choosing its ingredients. All of the items are made in plain view of the customer. The chain’s current slogan is “We Live Food.”


A Qdoba Mexican Grill in Eden Prairie, Minnesota

The main national rivals[5] to Qdoba are Chipotle Mexican Grill (which also started in Denver, two years before Qdoba), Baja Fresh, andPanchero’s Mexican Grill. The company was recently involved in a lawsuit in which Panera Bread attempted to invoke a clause in Panera’s contract with the White City Shopping Center in ShrewsburyMassachusetts, to stop the opening of a Qdoba Mexican Grill. The clause provided that Panera would be the only sandwich shop in the shopping center. Panera argued that burritos and other tortilla-based foods were, in fact, sandwiches. Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke ruled against Panera, concluding, “A sandwich is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans.”[6] However, the Qdoba in Shrewsbury has since closed, while Moe’s Southwest Grill and Chipotle Mexican Grill remain open across the street.

Qdoba Mexican Grill, Andover St. Peabody, Massachusetts

To keep up with its competition, especially Chipotle Mexican Grill, and to draw more families, Qdoba introduced a kids’ menu in December 2009.