Mexican fast food franchise Guzman Y Gomez has kicked off its US dream by opening the doors to its first US flagship restaurant in Chicago on 16 January.
The Australian chain, founded in 2006 with a restaurant in Sydney’s Newtown, recently entered the US, marking its 135th restaurant globally — across Australia, Singapore, Japan and now the United States.
Bringing the brand “home” has always been a dream for global founder Steven Marks and co-founder Robert Hazan.
“We both grew up in New York and it’s always been our dream to bring the brand back to the US. We have looked at sites all over the US for a number of years, and we were really particular about it because we knew our first restaurant in the US had to be special,” Mr Marks said.
The native New Yorkers launched Guzman Y Gomez following a craving for high-quality Mexican food upon their arrival in Australia. Today, they’re on a mission to change the way we eat.
“We’re on a mission to change how people view fast food because it doesn’t have to be bad food. We’ve come a long way from our roots in Newtown in Sydney, Australia — we are known for our passion for high-quality food and incredible energy, and what’s truly unique is how quickly food is prepared,” Mr Marks said.
Aside from its successful growth overseas, Guzman Y Gomez has also touched the sky, being the first commercial partner to deliver burritos by drone with Google Wing in Canberra.
‘Clean food menu’
Late last year, the pair unveiled the new “clean food” menu following three years’ worth of research and development.
“We developed our own definition of what ‘clean’ meant to us. We developed a list of unacceptable ingredients and additives and presented them to our suppliers,” Mr Marks told My Business at the time.
“There weren’t many issues with our food in the first instance; however, our suppliers were more than willing to work with us and challenge what they know about food to eliminate ingredients that we felt were unnecessary. All of our suppliers were up for the challenge.”
Mr Marks also admitted that his journey in business has been heavily influenced by a core piece of advice he was given: “Move your feet and never stand still.”
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business.
Maja has an extensive career as a journalist across finance, business and market intelligence. Prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja spent several years unravelling social, political and economic intricacies in Eastern Europe.