NWI Business Ins and Outs: opening of a furniture store, Domino’s, a wellness center, a mortgage lender and an opioid recovery center; Is Taco John coming? | Northwest Indiana Business Titles

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Could Taco John’s two-tiered tacos be coming to Northwest Indiana, or at least southwestern Michigan?

Meritage Hospitality Group, a restaurant development chain based in Grand Rapids, Mich. That owns several Wendy’s in the area, has signed a regional development agreement to build Taco John’s in the United States.

The company, which owns Wendy’s restaurants in Merrillville, Portage, Chesterton, Valparaiso and LaPorte, has reached an agreement to build 50 Taco John’s by 2026 with an option to develop 150 restaurants. Meritage Hospitality Group plans to invest at least $ 100 million in the construction of Taco John’s now that it has exclusive development rights in several states.

“We are excited about this new partnership with Taco John’s and look forward to launching the development of our home market in West Michigan with new store openings starting in 2022. We were first drawn to the brand by quality food made to order – through service and significant new development opportunities, all of which align with our core competencies. Our first visit to Taco John’s restaurant confirmed that we would love to serve food, including their delicious breakfast burritos and their signature Potato Ole’s, and knew this brand represented our core value of ‘we love what we do. Said President and CEO Gary Rose. .

Taco John’s was created 52 years ago in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The Mexican fast food restaurant has around 400 restaurants that serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The development agreement with Meritage Hospitality Group is the largest in Taco John’s history. Meritage operates 345 restaurants in 16 states, including Indiana and Michigan. It employs 11,500 people in Wendy’s, Morning Belle, Stan’s Tacos, Twisted Rooster and Freighters restaurants. It plans to hire approximately 1,250 additional workers at its first Taco John’s restaurants.

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