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Island Flavor

Maui Tacos hit the mainland.

The tropical flavors of the Hawaiian Islands will hit Atlanta this summer. Blimpie International Inc. will begin franchising the Maui Tacos restaurant concept, which was created in 1993 by renowned chef Mark Ellman. Blimpie bought the trademark and development rights to the restaurant chain that is known throughout Hawaii for its tacos filled with charbroiled steak, chicken and fish marinated in pineapple, lime juice and Hawaiian spices.

Maui Tacos International Inc., the company formed when Blimpie became the majority shareholder in Maui Tacos, plans to be the first to franchise this unique concept nationwide. Menu items will be approved by Ellman, who retains the rights to the six Maui Tacos locations in Hawaii and also holds development rights for the islands.

The mainland Maui Tacos locations will be larger than those in Hawaii, seating approximately 50 people. "In Hawaii, almost 70 percent of the food is take-out because it's so nice there year-round," says Bob Sitkoff, president of Maui Tacos International. "Here on the mainland, people want to sit down and eat."

The Maui Tacos wave is scheduled to splash down in Miami and Phoenix soon after Atlanta. Says Sitkoff, "It's restaurant-quality food in a fast-food environment."

Contact Sources

Maui Tacos International Inc., (888) MAUI-TACOS

This story appears in the June 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »