In 2007, frustrated with a lack of healthy options and nutritious food that could be had for a reasonable price in a quick environment, a couple of Canadian entrepreneurs with years of Foodservice experience behind them had a great idea for a fast-casual gourmet burrito concept.
Theirs was a quest to turn traditional fast food on its ear by doing things differently. They decided to go back to basics, creating recipes from scratch, with ingredients they could recognize. Essentially, creating food that they would happily feed to their families.
Canadians in general are seeking healthier alternatives, owing to an aging population, greater knowledge of nutrition and an increase in healthier lifestyles. Tired of the same old, same old, z-teca was born to answer the call for better quality and fresher, healthier food.
Why Mexican? Simple–it was their passion, and nobody seemed to be doing it right. Thus ‘new age’ California style Mexican was born in Toronto. The focus? To do a few things, and to do them really well. There are no gimmicky fast food style fried specialties, just REAL, WHOLESOME food inspired by Mexico.
The result, a clean design with a simple, focused menu, using only quality hand processed ingredients, with simple cooking techniques and employing great people who shared in the vision. This simple approach and passion for the business has allowed z-teca to build a strong and successful brand.
It’s what’s under the Foil that counts!
A simple and focused menu built around the philosophy of “do a few things but do them really well”, z-teca hand crafts all of its menu items, right in front of their customers, so there’s plenty of options. With emphasis squarely on the food, they only use fresh, quality ingredients, prepared daily in their own kitchens, using simple cooking techniques. In fact their kitchens are an “open concept” because they are proud of what they do and want their customers to see their food being freshly prepared. There are no microwaves, no add MSG, no fillers, no shortcuts and no fast food tricks – just great ingredients that make great tasting food.
z-teca serves primarily burritos, rice bowls, salads, quesadillas and tacos, using ingredients such as whole wheat tortillas, brown rice, low-fat locally sourced real dairy sour cream and Monterrey jack cheese, grain fed Canadian beef and pork, all-white meat hormone-free chicken breast and scratch made salsas using fresh produce.
z-teca has cultivated a very loyal customer following, and with a solid foundation in place, is poised for growth. They are seeking the right Franchise partners who share in their passion and vision of the brand.
Big Plans for Growth
Now 7 years old and with 9 locations in its home base of Toronto, z-teca is starting to grow outward. The chain will be opening its 10th location—and first outside of Toronto—in Guelph, Ontario this year, and is in discussions to open its first units outside of province. They are seeking qualified, enthusiastic franchisees that share in their vision to get on board and share in the success.
Though there are many other Burrito chains in the marketplace, what sets z-teca apart is their corporate culture and operating philosophy that they have worked so hard to achieve. They are obsessed with quality, customer focus and imparting a memorable brand experience each day at all of its locations.
z-teca restaurants can vary significantly in size from 500 to 2,000 Sq. feet, depending on the type of venue (street front, university, shopping mall, office tower, etc.) However, the ideal z-teca is 1,500 Sq. ft., with the kitchen area occupying approximately 40% and the balance being the customer/dining area which will contain approximately 30 to 40 seats.
They look for real estate opportunities that have excellent visibility, good accessibility, high pedestrian traffic/ vehicular traffic and which are anchored by other strong retail concepts.