In Focus
EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS | Staff Reporter, Australia

Find out about Franchise Retail Brands' acquisition of Mexican street food chain Hombre

QSR Media got in touch with Sean Corbin, Managing Director at Franchise Retail Brands, to talk about Hombre's recent acquisition, and how the brand aims to bring its Mexican street food to the masses.

Hombre Street Food Cafe and Bar is a Mexican food experience combining Mexican street food, art and music. The brand offers traditional and Tex-Mex food options, an extensive kids menu, full tequila and cocktail bar and live music in support of local artists.

QSR Media: Can you tell us more about Hombre Street Food?

Sean Corbin: Since our recent acquisition by Franchise Retail Brands, we’ve overhauled our menu and our offering to create the new and improved Hombre Mexican Street Food.

Hombre combines the best of Tex-Mex food to create a plentiful street food menu, featuring generous mains from both cuisines such as a burgers and burritos, loaded fries, fresh salads, and wow-factor shakes, smoothies and fresh juices. With a focus on creating authentic, tasty and healthy Tex-Mex food, Hombre aims to use the best quality ingredients to ensure maximum taste and nutrition.

We’re also now proving an extensive kids menu, a full tequila and cocktail bar, and will frequently have local live music as a key part of our offering to further appeal to the masses.

QSR Media: Can you tell me more about the brand's philosophy? What's behind the decision to combine street food, art, and music to create a unique experience?

Sean Corbin: We want our customers to feel at home at Hombre. Whether it’s a family dinner, a catch-up with friends, or a quick stop-in for takeaway – we want our customers to enjoy their experience. We see ourselves as part of the community, so we’re inviting local artists to play live music in-store and we’re building relationships with our customers.

We’re not about positioning ourselves in every single town for mass appeal, but rather, we’ve been meticulous in our choice of locations and about building relationships in these communities.

QSR Media: How does the brand achieve this?

Sean Corbin: We’ve utilised key design features to represent the fun and exotic vibes of Mexico to create a welcoming place for groups and singles alike to enjoy a meal. Through a new and improved menu with ample selection, we’re able to appeal both dine-in and take-away customers across a broad range of ages and interests, as we provide both classic menu items and healthy alternatives.

QSR Media: How important is brand experience and community to Hombre?

Sean Corbin: Brand experience is key, which is why we have set ourselves apart from our competitors by providing free, live entertainment in store and the option to grab-and-go or sit back with a meal and your favourite cocktail. In 2017, we’re providing more options to our customers than ever before.

QSR Media: How does this reflect in building customer loyalty and improving consumer satisfaction?

Sean Corbin: We’ve researched what our customers are chasing and as such, have bolstered our offering with a more expansive menu and live entertainment. Our customers are wanting a fast-casual experience with affordable pricing but ample choice, including healthier menu options, across breakfast, lunch and dinner – and we’ve made that happen.

QSR Media: Any big plans for the year?

Sean Corbin: Our vision is based on being the home for growing franchise brands in the café, bakery, dessert and QSR segments. Since launching in September 2016, we’ve acquired New York Slice Pizza and Hombre Mexican Street Food in addition to developing concept brands in 1582 Coffee, Sabatini’s, Crave Ice-Creamery and The Dessert House. In line with our growth strategy, we’ve taken options over several other brands in the café and QSR markets and plan to unveil these as we move towards an IPO in 2017. Our model is specifically designed to leverage supply-chain operations to franchisees within the network. This is made possible through our 1200-tonne per-year coffee roasting facility in Brisbane and very soon, we are adding a specialised bakery, supplying baked goods and sweet-treats.  

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