Fresh Burritos acquired by British Tortilla Mexican Grill


Mexican restaurant in France, with the acquisition of one of the pioneers of the category in France, Fresh Burritos, created in 2011 by Timothée Tronet and which last year achieved €21 million. A takeover whose announced amount is €3.95 million (if we consider a certain scope of the takeover) and which will allow the 19 franchisees (out of the 32 restaurants in France) to start again under a new banner. “Tortilla Mexican Grill is a brand with a strong identity, rather positioned on Californian catering with more open proposals.

We are delighted with this arrival in France”, explains to Francesca Tiritiello, chairwoman of the new board of directors of the French subsidiary and an expert in franchise catering after 7 years at KFC, notably as financial director of the European division before joining the board of directors of Tortilla UK. For Timothée Tronet, “This is a great operation for all our partners, a real development opportunity.

The Fresh Burritos spirit and the Mexican cuisine that I wanted to instill could be carried by another great European brand,” he tells us. He now intends to focus on his other brand, Berliner, which is continuing to grow well and opened more than ten locations this year. As for the Fresh Burritos master franchise signed in Korea and which will see the light of day (for more than a hundred locations), it is not part of the scope of this operation, confirms the boss of Brand Baker (the group that oversees Fresh Burritos, Berliner, Meglio)

Great European ambitions

Created in October 2007 by two brothers, Jen and Brandon Stephens, Tortilla now has 89 restaurants mainly in the United Kingdom (including 8 in the Middle East alongside the Eathos group) for a turnover under the brand of £65 million (€77 million). The brand, which is very present across the Channel, particularly alongside SSP and Compass, has great ambitions on the old continent. “France, with its dynamic fast food, is the gateway to Europe. We plan to at least double the network in the coming years and open other countries quite quickly, such as the Netherlands, Benelux and Germany,” confirms the new chairwoman of the French board, who will also include Gilles Boehringer (former head of development & franchising at KFC) among her non-executive members. For Andy Naylor, CEO of Tortilla, the European team that has been formed is top-notch, with a duo at the helm who will know how to navigate this new market. “The brand synergies are clear and the new kitchen in preparation (+ 2000 m² according to our information), will allow sustainable growth”. Indeed, like the operating mode in Great Britain, Tortilla Mexican Grill France will offer fresh products and Californian-inspired recipes, made in a central workshop located in Lille.

Already on the agenda, in the coming weeks, the transformation of existing branches is a done deal. Starting with those in the provinces “where it will be much easier than in Paris. Because in the capital, things will be frozen for several weeks because of the Olympic Games”, explains Francesca Tiritiello. But she intends to convert the 13 branches before the beginning of next year. A general manager, an expert in franchising and the inner circle, should join the team in September to support it in its development.

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