In Focus
EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS | Staff Reporter, Australia
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Guzman y Gomez looks to expand its day-part menu strategy

With the recent partnership with Uber Eats and the launch of its drone delivery, Guzman y Gomez says exciting times are ahead for the brand. Guzman y Gomez founder and global CEO Steven Marks said last December that they plan to expand to at least 20 more drive-thru locations this year. Below is the transcript of the interview with Marks.

QSR Media: What’s new at Guzman y Gomez?

2017 has been a massive year of menu innovations and growth here at GYG. In August, we launched our new Minis range, which has been huge and our biggest business investment, to date. We also launched GYG fries earlier last year which has proven to be very popular with our guests. We went through 30 iterations to perfect our fries and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Our fries are made from real, quality ingredients and they’re completely clean, just potato with no additives that you might see in other fast food fries.

Also in 2017, we entered South Australia with our first store in Adelaide. This was really exciting as our guests have been inundating our Facebook page for months asking when they will have a GYG. We also opened a new restaurant in Westfield Whitford, WA and drive-thrus in our Coffs Harbour, and also opened our 100th restaurant in Burleigh on the Gold Coast!

QSR Media: Tell us about the brand’s decision to partner with UberEATS. How did it come about?

We’re so excited to have partnered with UberEATS, giving our guests more ways to get their hands on GYG. Our partnership with UberEATS means we can now bring the best Mexican food to anyone, anytime, anywhere. The customers were asking for this, so we listened. Convenience and delivery are big part of our strategy so we have huge plans in the pipeline.

People want nutritious, high quality food with the ease and convenience they love about home delivery, and I think we’ve nailed this combination. We’re also available on Deliveroo so we’ve opened multiple delivery channels this year.

QSR Media: How will the partnership benefit the franchisees, and the business as a whole?

The new partnership with UberEATS means our franchisees will have more access to those who want fresh Mexican food delivered to their door. The best quality Mexican food and fast delivery means our guests are happy — and if our guests are happy, our franchisees are happy.

The biggest challenge for us is ensuring the delivery market remains profitable for our franchisees. There’s tremendous room for growth in this space right now and we’re always on the lookout for new franchisees to join the family.

QSR Media: Any big plans for the year?

There are very exciting times ahead for GYG, with at least 20 more drive-thru locations, more menu expansion and day parts being introduced soon so, watch this space.

QSR Media: Regarding Franchisee Recruitment, what’s your outlook on this? As a business, how do you make sure you are getting the right partner?

At GYG, we look for franchisees who are vibrant, passionate and share our love for quality, authentic and great tasting food. The need to understand our culture and want to live our values. Where we can, we like to recruit from within — allowing our amazing staff to have the opportunity to own and run their own restaurant. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, a head for business and a big heart for Mexican food you’re almost there! You also need a passion for giving every customer the best experience possible – every single time.

When we recruit a new GYG franchisee, they become part of our family. That means we always have their backs! We are as committed to helping our franchisees thrive as we are to serving the highest quality food and spreading the love of Latin culture in Australia. We look after our people. During every step of the process, Guzman y Gomez is there to help our franchisees establish their restaurant. They receive support on everything from location and real estate support, design and layout, to training up the team, planning for opening day and ongoing support and coaching from our head office team.

We will help our franchisees set up the supply chain, point of sale configuration and IT systems. Once they’re on their feet, a GYG market coach will continually check in to make sure they’re receiving the strategic advice they need. With 80% of Guzman y Gomez taquerias owned by franchisees, we have had a lot of experience setting our team up for success.

QSR Media: How is the drone delivery going? What’s surprised you so far?

It’s going really well! This is such an exciting time for GYG. When Project Wing approached us about the commercialisation of delivery by drone using the most sophisticated technology ever, the decision was a very simple YES, we’re in!

GYG is on a mission to reinvent fast food for the 21st century. We believe fast food doesn’t have to be bad food but we also want to reinvent the way food is delivered to our customers and make GYG available, anytime, anywhere. Drone delivery is simply the next evolution in delivery and we wanted to be part of any ground breaking moment in the food tech space. 

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