Work Smarter, Not Longer: 4 Key Success Strategies for Food Franchises

Work Smarter, Not Longer: Lessons Learned from America's Taco Shop 1
America Bortin, CEO of America’s Taco Store, shares 4 key strategies on how she grew her small store into one of the fastest growing food franchises in the U.S.

We recently spoke with America and Terry Bortin, founders of multi million dollar America’s Taco Shop franchise, who talked about growing their business and shared these essential steps to success:

1. Maintain Quality At All Costs

Work Smarter, Not Longer: Lessons Learned from America's Taco Shop
America & Terry Bortin

The Bortins are very demanding when it comes to preparation, and top quality ingredients are the heart of their business. For example, the top grade beef used in their Care Asada is marinated in citrus juice and garlic, but only for 10 minutes.

“More marinating does not make the taco taste better, just stronger,” explains America. “And if the beef is marinated too long, you can be sorry that you ate Mexican food.”

Whether your product is food, cleaning services, or tax preparation, for your business to continue to be successful during growth, the philosophy of quality and attention to detail must be inculcated into all franchisees, managers and employees.

“You must have a passion for the restaurant business,” says America. “And you must want to be the best.”

2. Drive Excellence Throughout The Organization

Their commitment to getting the little details right extends to their restaurant staffs. The Bortins do all the training themselves, even for their new franchises. “Dealing with a staff and making sure everything is up to standard is challenging,” America says, “ but if you can find the right combination of people, it makes all the difference.”

3. Results Are Everything – Don’t Confuse Long Hours With Productivity

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of believing that ultra-long days are the keys to success in business — especially those that have come from corporate environments, where reputation is sometimes more important than productivity. The Bortins, however have another philosophy. “You can take the long hours and turn them into something more efficient, working smarter,” says Terry Bortin.

The benefits to working smarter? For the Bortins, it means not having to juggle business and family. With good business systems in place, there can time for both.


“You can take the long hours and turn them into something more efficient, working smarter.”

4. Recognize Failing Strategies And Make Changes – Quickly

Sounds obvious but you would be amazed at the number of immpreneurs we come across who don’t.

While America and Terry have done a great job of improving their business processes since they first launched America’s Taco Stand, their road to success has not been without bumps and mistakes.

“Mistakes? Yeah, we’ve made a lot of them,” says Terry Bortin. “One of them was trying to use the organization structure of a larger restaurant with the taco shop. We tried to employ different levels of management and staffing. And of course, we spent money that we didn’t need to, like a lot of new business owners.  Today, four and half years later, we know much more about how to run America’s Taco Shop, and at a higher level.”

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