Wahoo’s Fish Taco: 100 Units In 5 Years
Marking a major strategy change in its 20-year history, Wahoo’s Fish Taco has halted plans to build company-operated restaurants.
Instead, it will focus on.
The Santa Ana-based chain, founded in 1988, has hired Tom Orbe to lead a majoreffort. Orbe, who owns a Wahoo’s in Temecula, said Wahoo’s wants to build 100 new new franchise units over the next five years.
“This marks a huge shift, because we’re not looking to build more company stores. We’re looking to franchise,” Orbe said during a recent phone interview.
When an iconic chain such as Wahoo’s starts to franchise, red flags go up. It often means the original owners are not involved in future growth, and therefore, the quality of the restaurant might go down.
Orbe promises that won’t be the case with Wahoo’s, a beloved Southern California chain known for its fiercely loyal fans Newwill be vetted by Wahoo’s owners Wing Lam, Ed Lee and Mingo Lee to ensure that they are “passionate about Wahoo’s,” Orbe said.
The 55-unit chain will focus on expanding in Oregon, California, Texas, Florida and Virgina.