Franchises

The 5 Best Taco Franchises You Can Own Today

Who doesn't love a good taco spot?
The 5 Best Taco Franchises You Can Own Today
Image credit: Chronic Tacos | Facebook
Entrepreneur Staff
Associate Editor, Contributed Content
4 min read

If you're looking to move on from a 9-to-5 job and start your own business, or deciding on your next investment opportunity, food franchises can provide a good mix of independence and structure. You can tap into known brands and advertisements while working for yourself.

In the past, we've covered burger franchises and fast-food restuarants, but this story is all about taco franchises. So, if you want to start a business and like tacos, start the slideshow to check out the five best-ranked taco franchises from the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list.

If you want to start a business but don't like tacos, then we have some very serious questions.

Related: 24 Top-Ranked, Affordable Franchises You Can Buy for $25,000 or Less

The 5 Best Taco Franchises You Can Own Today

Taco Bell

Taco Bell
Image credit: Taco Bell | Facebook

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 12

Initial investment: $525,100 to $2,622,400

Initial franchise fee: $25,000 to $45,000

New units in 2016: 147 units (2.3 percent)

Taco Bell is one of the most popular restaurants in America and across the world (at the start of 2017, there were over 6,500), so there's no surprise that it's also the top-ranked taco franchise. That sort of success is actually a double-edged sword for investors, though. If you can manage to buy one of the franchises, you have a higher chance for it to be successful than if you invested in another business. 

But, according to the Taco Bell company website, it also means there are limited franchises opportunities available. So, Taco Bell might make more sense for experienced investors and operators.

Related: Our Top 10 Franchises You Can Buy

The 5 Best Taco Franchises You Can Own Today

Moe's Southwest Grill

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 50

Initial investment: $368,930 to $956,400

Initial franchise fee: $30,000

New units in 2016: 27 units (+4.2 percent)

Welcome to Moe's! This fast-casual restaurant chain had 682 locations at the start of 2017, with just two of those outside the U.S. So, unlike Taco Bell, that means the company has plenty of room to expand.

According to the Moe's website, the business is particularly interested in expansion to western states like Texas, California, Oregon and others. However, there is limited availability in most states across the country, including New York to Alabama and Wyoming.

Related: The 5 Best Pizza Franchises You Can Start Today

The 5 Best Taco Franchises You Can Own Today

Del Taco

Del Taco
Image credit: Del Taco | Facebook

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 265

Initial investment: $859,700 to $2,016,500

Initial franchise fee: $35,000

New units in 2016: -3 units (-0.5 percent)

Del Taco is a good combination of established and small. On one hand, it's been franchising for 50 years. On the other hand, there were just 555 units at the start of 2017 -- 303 company-owned restaurants and 253 U.S. franchises. That means there is still plenty of opportunities available. Right now, Del Taco is looking to expand mostly in midwestern and western states like Illinois, Ohio and California.

Related: 5 Affordable Franchises You Can Start for Less Than $10,000

The 5 Best Taco Franchises You Can Own Today

Quesada Burritos and Tacos

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 356

Initial investment: $209,000 to $290,500

Initial franchise fee: $25,000

New units in 2016: 15 units (+31.3 percent)

When you see that a taco restaurant business is located in California, you might naturally assume it's based in the state. However, Quesada Burritos and Tacos is based in Toronto, Canada. Founded by Steve Gill in 2003, Quesada has only been franchising since 2010, but there are already 91 restaurants across Canada. So, if you're looking to invest in Canada, you should definitely check out Quesada.

Related: 5 Low-Cost Franchises You Can Start for as Little as $4,000

The 5 Best Taco Franchises You Can Own Today

Chronic Tacos Enterprises Inc.

Chronic Tacos Enterprises Inc.
Image credit: Chronic Tacos | Facebook

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 455

Initial investment: $299,000 to $799,000

Initial franchise fee: $35,000 to $40,000

New units in 2016: 7 units (24.1 percent)

Chronic Tacos  has the fewest total units of any company on this list. With 47 total units at the start of 2017 -- 39 U.S. franchises, three international franchises and five company-owned -- there are plenty of opportunities left for new investors.

Right now, there are Chronic Tacos locations in just nine states along both coasts, with three more states (Idaho, Tennessee and Georgia) hosting developing restaurants. You can see the full map of locations here.

Related: The Top 5 New Franchises to Keep Your Eye On

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  • The 5 Best Taco Franchises You Can Own Today
  • 1. Taco Bell
  • 2. Moe's Southwest Grill
  • 3. Del Taco
  • 4. Quesada Burritos and Tacos
  • 5. Chronic Tacos Enterprises Inc.
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