Del Taco

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

Company Overview - Del Taco

Del Taco is the second leading Mexican QSR in the United States. The company was founded in 1964 as Casa Del Taco before changing its name to Del Taco in 1973.

Del Taco

  • Del Taco was founded in 1964 by Ed Hackbarth and David Jameson in Yermo, California originally as Casa Del Taco. In 1972, Del Taco opened its largest store in Newport Beach, California.
  • By 1977, the Del Taco expanded its locations to 50 restaurants and 100 restaurants and in the same year, sold their exclusive rights to use and expand the brand Del Taco throughout the United States, except for California, Eugene, Oregon, Yuma, and Arizona, where Del Taco already had offices.
  • In 1978, its menu also grew to include items like ice cream sundaes, quesadilla, and bun taco.
  • The company merged with Naugles restaurant chain in 1988 and the same year, began operating 24/7. The company launched several campaigns like a redesign of its logo, to improve its customer experience and grow the brand's image.
  • Del Taco grew to 500 locations in 2008, and new items were introduced to the menu. To engage its customers, Del Taco launched the Del Taco Super Special Show.
  • Del Taco currently has 7,544 employees and generated $471.19 million in revenue in FY2018.

Number of Locations

Headquarters

C-Suite Team

Marketing Campaigns

Del Taco's Hardest Working Hands Campaign

Del Taco's Mobile App Campaign

  • The restaurant launched a mobile app available on iOS and Android platforms. Guests installing The Del App can obtain two free Del Tacos coupons instantly and other weekly special offers delivered to their mobile device.
Part
02
of eight
Part
02

Biography - Barry Westrum, CMO of Del Taco

Barry Westrum boasts of more than 25 years of work experience in marketing with top brands like KFC USA, Dairy Queen, Long John Restaurant, and Taco Bell. He currently lives in Orange County, California Area.

Education

Hobbies and Interests

  • His tweets on sports suggest that he is a fan of baseball.

Social cause or charities

  • He is a member of the BrandLab, an organization that helps less privileged students get education and career opportunities in marketing and advertising.

Social Media Accounts

Professional Information

Prior work experience

  • Barry Westrum started working as an account supervisor in 1987 at Tracy-Locke Advertising. He later moved to Taco Bell in 1994, where he worked as the senior director of marketing until June 2008.
  • From July 2008 to December 2009, he worked at Yum! Brands as the Senior Director-Brand Marketing, after which he became the Chief Marketing Officer at A&W/Long John Silver's Restaurants. He worked at KFC USA from January 2011 to January 2012 as the CMO.
  • Before joining Del Taco Restaurants as the Chief Marketing Officer, Barry Westrum worked as the Executive Vice President Marketing at the International Dairy Queen.

Current Responsibilities at Del Taco

  • Barry Westrum is in charge of leading the company's global marketing strategy. He reports to John D. Cappasola, Jr, the CEO, and president of Del Taco.

Board Membership

  • Barry Westrum is a board member at BrandLab.

Recent News Articles

  • A recent news article about Mr. Westrum has been published on COMM WEEK. The article is about him being a key speaker at the launch of "Re-fresh" by Del Taco, and it has provided his brief bio, which includes his professional life.
  • Another article has been published on Global Newswire, where he is talking about a deal on an item on Del Taco's menu that is known as "The Del Taco."
  • He has been mentioned on RestaurantNews.com, where he is talking about the strategic growth of Del Taco in Atlanta.
  • He has been quoted on Oklahoma's News where is talking about the new Del Taco's restaurant that was launched in Oklahoma City in early November 2019. Mr. Westrum has also been quoted on QSR Web where is talking about Del Taco's planned new locations in Georgia.

Research Strategy

During the search, we were unable to find information about the family of David Westrum or additional hobbies or interests. We first began by analyzing his profile from articles and blogs published on different sources like Businesswire, Wall Street Journal, Comparably, COMM WEEK, Food Business News, and others. These sources provided an overview of his professional background and where he currently resides, but not his family life and hobbies or interests.

Next, we searched for his social media profiles like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We were hoping to find his hobbies and interests and information about his family life from his social media posts. After searching through different similar profiles, we found his profile on Twitter. His profile photo suggests that he is likely married and has two daughters. But, there is no tweet or comment on the picture that would ascertain that the people with him in the picture are indeed his family. Also, he has shared several tweets on baseball, but, no other tweet revealed any other hobbies and interests.

Lastly, we searched for his interviews. Often during interviews, individuals are asked about their family lives and hobbies and interests. Though older than 24 months, we found an interview published on Forbes. In this interview, it is mentioned that his daughter attended UVA, but her name has not been provided. His hobbies and interest and family life were not disclosed. The interview mostly focused on his role at Dairy Queen.
Part
03
of eight
Part
03

Media Scan - Del Taco

Twelve unique recent news and media articles about Del Taco that chronicles the company's issues over the past 12 months include discussions on new restaurant openings, restaurant closings, deals, promotions, partnerships, personnel changes, and stock issues.

The Tri-Cities’ first Del Taco restaurant opens this week

  • This article was published in the Tri-City Herald on November 11, 2019.
  • A new Del Taco restaurant is set to open on November 13, 2019, in Richland, Washington.

Del Taco takes a swing at Taco Bell with competing World Series free taco deal Wednesday

  • This article was published in USAToday on October 29, 2019.
  • In an effort to compete with Taco Bell, Del Taco announced a free taco giveaway for Major League Baseball's World Series. Guests could get a free taco if a player stole a base during the previous day's World Series game.
  • Del Taco attempted to differentiate its deal from Taco Bell's promotion by allowing guests to get their free taco any time during the day rather than during specific hours.

Del Taco Celebrating New Openings with Free Tacos for a Year

  • This article was published in QSR Magazine on November 7, 2019.
  • To celebrate the opening of two restaurants in Riverdale and Fayetteville, Georgia, Del Taco planned to "give away a year supply of its namesake product, the Del Taco, to the first 100 guests who visit each store’s dining room."

Del Taco on California Avenue closes

  • This article was published by 23ABC News Bakersfield on October 28, 2019.
  • The Del Taco restaurant on California Avenue in Bakersfield, California announced its closing in the wake of the building's owner deciding to use the building for another purpose.
  • No employees lost their jobs, as they were moved to other Del Taco locations in the area.

Del Taco is Considering a Sale

  • This article was published by Restaurant Business on August 20, 2019.
  • A Wall Street insider indicated that Del Taco is considering the sale of the company as it is getting interest from "both investment firms and other restaurant chains.
  • Restaurant chains that may be interested in purchasing Del Taco include Dine Brands Global, The Habit Restaurants, Fiesta Restaurant Group, Chuy’s and El Pollo Loco.

Del Taco at Risk of a Stock Delisting

  • This article was published by Restaurant Business on August 23, 2019.
  • Del Taco announced that it could have its stock delisted after one of its directors resigned, which left the company "short of the number of independent directors required to qualify for its listing on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange."
  • However, the company has a year to correct the problem, so a delisting is unlikely.

Del Taco’s newest “meat” taco is 100% meatless

Want to smell like Del Taco? The fast food company gets into the aromatherapy game

  • This article was published in The Mercury News on September 29, 2019.
  • Del Taco announced its entrance into the aromatherapy market with its new 0.5-ounce bottles of "Craveable Sweets & Scents" products, which include churro, vanilla, and chocolate aromas.
  • The aromatherapy products align with Del Taco's "new Mini Churro Dipper Shakes, which include a churro dunked in a milkshake."

Del Taco unveils new fry soap that smells like its Crinkle Cut Fries

  • This article was published in USAToday on March 11, 2019.
  • Del Taco debuted a french-fry-scented soap called "Eau De French Fry." The limited time product is meant to promote the chain's Fresh Faves Box Meal, which includes Del Taco's "world-famous fries."

Del Taco Names Chad Gretzema COO

Del Taco Offering 'Del Barko' Dog Treats in Honor of National Dog Day

  • This article was published in QSR Magazine on August 22, 2019.
  • Del Taco offered "'Del Barko' all-natural dog treats in bacon, cheese and hash brown flavors" for a limited time to promote its new Breakfast Toasted Wrap, which includes the same flavors as in the dog treats.
  • The treats were only available for $2.00 through the restaurant's website, but guests could "enter the code 'dogday' into Del Taco's app" to receive a "free Breakfast Toasted wrap with any purchase."

Del Taco partners with Postmates

Part
04
of eight
Part
04

Del Taco - The Competitors

Seven true competitors to Del Taco include Taco Bell, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jack in the Box, Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, Qdoba Mexican Eats, La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill and Taco Bueno. They are restaurant operators, or operators and franchisers that offer at least one specialty similar to Del Taco. Del Taco specializes in Mexican-inspired dishes such as burritos and tacos as well as American classic dishes such as cheeseburgers, fries and milkshakes.

Taco Bell

Why it is a competitor

Value proposition

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Why it is a competitor

Value proposition

Jack in the Box

Why it is a competitor

Value proposition

  • Jack in the Box emphasizes on on-the-go convenience, and about 85% of its guests annually buy food for takeout or at the drive through. It is a pioneer of many new menu items in the quick-serve industry such as portable salads and breakfast sandwiches.
  • Jack in the Box recognizes that customers are increasingly getting interested in customizing their meals, offering them the flexibility to modify meals to suit their personal tastes. They also cater for price-sensitive customers with the 'Jack’s Deals' section of their menu that has value-priced products such as chicken nuggets, tacos, a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and a chicken sandwich. Moreover, their full menu including breakfast is served all day every day.

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill

Why it is a competitor

  • Cafe Rio Mexican Grill is a fast-casual chain of restaurants with locations around the U.S. It specializes in Mexican dishes such as tacos, burritos, chicken tortilla soup, enchiladas and chips with queso.

Value Proposition

Qdoba Mexican Eats

Why it is a competitor

Value Proposition

  • Qdoba believes in "flavor without compromise", and this can be seen from the different flavor creations in their food, to their bold restaurant decor. They also offer customers the option to customize their meals and flavors, and in instances when customers are not impressed, they can remake the meals at no cost.
  • Their restaurants have an inviting atmosphere, with sunny patios and full-service bars. They offer complimentary WiFi and an environment where people can hang out.

La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill

Why it is a competitor

Value Proposition

  • La Salsa emphasizes on using fresh ingredients and innovative preparation in their meals. They take traditional recipes from Mexico and give them a fresh and delicious twist. They also offer fresh salsa bars that have different unique salsas, allowing customers to explore different ways in which they can enjoy their meals.

Taco Bueno

Why it is a competitor

Value Proposition

  • Taco Bueno offers fresh meals that are prepared from scratch using real ingredients. They also give customers the option to customize their orders, and they have a fresh salsa bar where customers can layer flavors by themselves.

Research Strategy

In order to provide 7 true competitors to Del Taco, we started our research by trying to understand Del Taco's business model and value proposition. We checked the company website, specifically the financial reports, and we were able to find this information. Del Taco is a "nationwide operator and franchiser of restaurants" that serves both Mexican-inspired dishes such as burritos and tacos as well as American classic dishes such as cheeseburgers, fries and milkshakes. Their dual menu enables them to attract a larger customer base than purely American or purely Mexican spots. Their menu also offers premium items as well as lower priced items, appealing to customers from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Moreover, they combine the attributes of fast casual restaurants and quick service restaurants by serving fresh and high quality food in a speedy and convenient way.

With this in mind, we identified competitors as other companies that have a similar business model and offer at least one similar specialty to Del Taco. We were able to identify Taco Bell, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jack in the Box, Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, Qdoba Mexican Eats, La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill and Taco Bueno.
Part
05
of eight
Part
05

Del Taco - Competitors: The Findings Part One

Del Taco has a dedicated customer relationship management department to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction among customers and good brand equity among potential customers. Taco Bell adopted a healthy trans-fat free formula which is a key competitive advantage over other competitors.

Del Taco

Competitive Advantage

Strengths

Weaknesses

Taco Bell

Competitive Advantage

Strengths

Weaknesses

Part
06
of eight
Part
06

Del Taco - Competitors: The Findings Part Two

Chipotle Mexican Grill is one of the few restaurant chains that serves moderately healthy foods. While Jack in the Box offers distinctive and innovative fast-food options. Chipotle Mexican Grill had $4.86 billion in revenues in 2018, and Jack in the Box had $870 million.

CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES

  • Chipotle boasting being one of, “the few places an individual can get moderately-healthy food”.
  • They have also managed to be the one of the only restaurant chains that did not have any debt in 2018.
  • They sell high-quality food at reasonable prices.
  • All their ingredients including their herbs, spices, and meats are fresh, not frozen or microwaved.

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

  • An E. coli outbreak from a few years ago still hangs over the company’s reputation.
  • They have not taken care to invest in research and development (R&D), and as a result, they are falling behind when it comes to innovation.
  • Chipotle is displaying a high number of days of inventory when compared to its competitors.
  • Another weakness that was identified was their lack of marketing success bases on sales.
  • Chipotle also shows issues with combining the company’s culture with other firms and other outside businesses.

REVENUE

  • As of Dec 2018, the annual revenue of Chipotle was $4.86 billion.

LOCATIONS


JACK IN THE BOX

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

  • They have a higher employee turnover rate than their competitors.
  • Although they do well with new product developments the need to invest in more innovative technologies.
  • Their day's inventory is high when compared with its competitors.
  • Their product marketing and unique selling propositions are not clearly defined and their overall marketing success in sales has been low.

REVENUE

  • As of 2018, Jack in the Box has an annual revenue of $870 million.

LOCATIONS

  • They have 2239 locations that are in Hawaii, the western, and southern states of the US.
  • Jack in the Box also has a footprint in Guam.

Part
07
of eight
Part
07

Del Taco - Competitors: The Findings Part Three

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill makes all of their ingredients from scratch every day and then combine them into a snazzy meal for their customers only after they order. Qdoba Mexican Eats facilitates their customers to customize their food to their personal desire and make their own masterpiece.

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill 

Competitive advantage:

  • Cafe Rio has an executive team with over 100 years of restaurant industry experience combined
  • Working for industry giants like McDonald’s, Sonic and Wendy's, they've learned many invaluable lessons about how (and how not) to run a restaurant.
  • The talents of their executive team has helped grow Cafe Rio from six locations in Utah to over 120 locations across twelve states.

Cafe Rio's Strengths:

  • Cafe Rio makes all of their ingredients from scratch every day and then combines them into a snazzy meal for their customers only after they order.
  • The company has the mantra of “fresh food, made fresh” at the very core of the brand.
  • They do not freeze or microwave anything and therefore there is nothing pre-made.

Cafe Rio's Perceived Weaknesses:

  • Although the cafe brags about the fresh food cooked fresh, the reviews on various platforms state the opposite.
  • According to some reviews, customers often complained about the food being under cooked, that management is not up to mark and the staff being rude along with poor service.
  • Another perceived weakness is that the chain is currently limited to the US and does not have an international presence.
  • Recipes can be easily imitated by a competitor.

Publicly Available Revenue:

Cities/Countries Where Cafe Rio Has a Footprint:

Qdoba Mexican Eats 

Competitive Advantage:

  • While the chain has the best flavor creations around, they also facilitate their customers to customize their food to their personal desire and make their own masterpiece.
  • The advantage here is that if the customers do not like what they customized then the restaurant will remake it, on the house.

Qdoba Mexican Eats' Strengths:


Qdoba Mexican Eats Perceived Weaknesses:

Publicly Available Revenue:

Cities/Countries Where Qdoba Mexican Eats Has a Footprint:


Research Strategy:

Due to limited data on the weakness of Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, we referred to reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor to understand where the cafe is lacking and based on some negative or low ratings, we summarized the weakness of the cafe. The other weakness was directly found via a SWOT analysis.
Part
08
of eight
Part
08

Del Taco - Competitors: The Findings Part Four

La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill's competitive advantage is the innovative twist it puts on class recipes, speedy service is a strength for the company, value is a perceived weakness, its combined revenue (with Baja Fresh) totaled $145 million, and it has locations in California, Nevada, Texas, and Indiana. Part of Taco Bueno's competitive advantage is its customizable orders, online-ordering is a strength, finances are a weakness, it earned $200.5 million in revenue, and it has approximately 150 restaurants in the U.S.

Del Taco Competitors: La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill & Taco Bueno

1. La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill

A. Competitive Advantage

  • La Salsa's competitive advantage is two-fold in that it (1) was an early pioneer in the Mexican quick-serve-restaurant trend, as it has been in business since 1979, and (2) puts an innovative twist on traditional Mexican recipes.
  • With regard to the innovative-twist competitive advantage, the company states the following: "We take time honored, authentic Mexican dishes and update them using the freshest ingredients and preparation to bring the bold tastes and flavors of Mexico to life in a variety of unique ways. We’re constantly exploring, trying new tastes and ideas, and updating our menu so that we can share with you our twists on the flavors of Mexico’s varied regions."

B. Strengths & Weaknesses

  • La Salsa has a strong regional presence in California, which accounts for nine of its 12 locations.
  • We checked reviews for three of its locations on TripAdvisor, each of which is in a different state, and speedy service appears to be a strength for the company. Multiple customers across those three locations (Tuscon, San Leandro, and Las Vegas) mentioned fast service in their comments.
  • Value is a perceived weakness for La Salsa. The rating and reviews from the aforementioned three locations identified this as a weakness.
  • The San Francisco location received a 3/5 rating for value, the Las Vegas location received a 3.5/5 rating for value, and multiple customers at the Tuscon location remarked that they weren't happy with the value they received.
  • Food quality is a perceived weakness for La Salsa, as identified through the previously mentioned three locations. Customers of its San Leandro location rated the food quality 3.5/5, as did customers at its Las Vegas location.

C. Revenue & Locations

  • With regard to revenue, in 2016, La Salsa's parent company (BF Acquisition Holdings LLC) was bought by MTY Food Group Inc.
  • "BF Acquisition Holdings LLC . . . [was] the parent company for Baja Fresh Mexican Grill and La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill."
  • In an announcement about that deal, revenue was provided for La Salsa and Baja Fresh combined, which was reported at $145 million.
  • The company operates in California (which has the most restaurants), Nevada, Texas, and Indiana.
  • The following are the cities in California that La Salsa operates in: San Francisco, Oakland, San Leandro, Fremont, Mountain View, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles (two locations), Rolling Hills, and Newport Beach.
  • The company's Nevada location is in Las Vegas.
  • La Salsa's Texas location is in Houston.

2. Taco Bueno

A. Competitive Advantage

  • Taco Bueno cites a three-part competitive advantage below its caption titled "Why Bueno is Better." The three components it cites for its competitive advantage are as follows: (1) Fresh preparation ("we craft each recipe in our kitchens just before it hits your tray"); (2) The use of real ingredients; and (3) The ability to customize orders.
  • Another source echoed that competitive advantage, in describing the company's unique-selling proposition as "[f]resh ingredients and dishes made from scratch."

B. Strengths & Weaknesses

  • Taco Bueno's loyalty program, Buenoheads, has performed well.
  • Taco Bueno's online-ordering option is a strength for the company.
  • One of Taco Bueno's strengths is how long it has been in business (since 1967).
  • The authentic food the company serves up is another area of strength. The company states the following about that strength: "Now, almost 52 years later, while the other guys have turned to packaged and processed foods, we’ve stayed true to our roots by crafting authentic recipes in each of our kitchens."
  • Taco Bueno has a strong presence on Facebook where it has 334,181 followers and 342,783 likes.
  • The company has a strong presence across the U.S., with approximately 150 locations. As such, Taco Bueno describes itself as "America's Favorite Mexican QSR [quick serve] Restaurant."
  • Finances are an area of weakness for the company. In late 2018, Taco Bueno filed for bankruptcy, as it had "$130 million in debt."
  • An article published by Restaurant Business Online said "the company suffered from 'historical mismatches between price and product value, a lack of product innovation and deferred maintenance.'"
  • Restaurant Business Online stated that "Taco Bueno continues to suffer from a number of underperforming locations."

C. Revenue & Locations

  • Taco Bueno's revenue in 2017 (most-recent data we could find) was $200.5 million.
  • All of Taco Bueno's locations are in the U.S.
  • The company has a total of approximately 150 restaurants.
  • Taco Bueno's locations span Oklahoma (the most restaurants by far with approximately 64), Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri.

Research Strategy

We began our research by reviewing each restaurant's website, in order to find information about their locations, competitive advantages, and strengths. Next, we looked for articles describing each company in sources such as Restaurant Business Online. We also looked at available social media channels that the restaurants maintain to look for information about strengths, such as number of followers. We used a cross-sample of TripAdvisor reviews to identify some strengths and weaknesses for La Salsa because there was little information about the company in articles. Since reviews vary by location, we checked reviews from three locations, each of which was from a different state, in order to identify issues that appear to be company-wide instead of specific to any one particular location. Based on the ratings and customer comments included therein, we extrapolated strengths and weaknesses for the company. The combined revenue data we provided for La Salsa was the only reliable revenue data we could find for the company. Together, this research process provided us with all the requested information about these restaurants.
Sources
Sources

From Part 04