Rusty Taco

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Franchise 500 2023
Franchise 500 Rank
N/R Not ranked last year
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Initial investment
$532K - $1.1M
Units as of 2023
33 Decrease 2% over 3 years

Rusty Fenton, Denise Fenton, and Steve Dunn opened the doors to the first Rusty Taco location in 2010. However, the story of this eatery began way before that with the Fentons’ love for food and travel. On one of his travels to Acapulco, Mexico, Rusty took his first bite of a taco from a roadside vendor, and was sold. Rusty began to envision an eatery serving up tasty yet simple delicacies.

Rusty Taco does not claim to boast anything fancy, just lots of flavor. This eatery strives to serve up all this at an affordable price, much like buying tacos from a street vendor in Mexico. Rusty Taco hopes to make each customer feel right at home when they visit, offering food from warm chips to delicious tacos and icy margaritas.

Rusty Taco began franchising soon after opening its first location and has since opened more than 25 franchises throughout the United States.

Why You May Want To Start a Rusty Taco Franchise

If you are all about big and bold flavors served in a homey setup, then opening a Rusty Taco franchise could be a good decision for you. Franchisees are expected to have a great personality, enjoy working with people, and have a love for good food. Apart from the obvious business know-how that any businessperson should have, you may not need any other prior restaurant experience to run one of these franchises. All the training you need may be provided by Rusty Taco.

Opening a Rusty Taco franchise could offer a more predictable outcome than investing in a completely new brand that may struggle to thrive in an already crowded and competitive industry.

What Might Make a Rusty Taco Franchise a Good Choice?

Rusty Taco provides a street-taco-inspired menu that is authentic and uses fresh ingredients for flavorful yet affordable menu items. It is a restaurant that strives to offer a welcoming and approachable ambiance that could be a place where friends and families love to hang out. The food is made-to-order, unpretentious, and simple. The operations may be simple and manageable, too.

To be part of the Rusty Taco franchise team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. In addition, you should prepare yourself for ongoing fees that will include advertising, royalty, and potential renewal fees. Franchisees will also need to meet the company’s set net worth and liquid capital requirements. 

How To Open a Rusty Taco Franchise

Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement with Rusty Taco, you must perform your due diligence and establish if this is the right opportunity for you. As part of your due diligence, you may want to speak to existing franchisees and ask the franchising team questions.

If awarded a franchise, franchisees may receive a great deal of support from the Rusty Taco brand throughout the franchising process. In addition to pre-opening training, franchisees receive support through brand awareness, marketing, research, and construction.

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Company Overview

About Rusty Taco

Industry Food
Related Categories Mexican Food
Founded 2010
Parent Company Gala Capital Partners
Leadership Brendan Mauri, President
Corporate Address 3191 Red Hill Ave., #200
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Social Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Business Overview

Franchising Since 2010 (14 years)
# of employees at HQ 50
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchises throughout the US.

# of Units 33 (as of 2023)

Information for Franchisees

Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Rusty Taco franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here's what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee Information Circle
Initial Investment Information Circle
$531,900 - $1,100,450
Net Worth Requirement Information Circle
Cash Requirement Information Circle
Veteran Incentives Information Circle
50% off franchise fee
Royalty Fee Information Circle
Ad Royalty Fee Information Circle
Term of Agreement Information Circle
10 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

Third Party Financing Rusty Taco has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training 144-172 hours
Classroom Training 16-28 hours
Ongoing Support
Meetings & Conventions
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Lease Negotiation
Field Operations
Site Selection
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed? No
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit? Information Circle
Can this franchise be run part time? Information Circle
# of employees required to run 20
Are exclusive territories available? Information Circle
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Additional Rankings

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Updated: December 12th, 2022