by Border Foods
There’s no slow down at Border Foods! Finishing out another year strong, our Facilities and Development teams are already well into 2023 planning. We‘re gearing up for 24 remodels and up to 10 brand new Taco Bells next year!
“I think the sheer amount that we’re doing is really exciting,” says Zach Zelickson, VP of Development. Zach joined Border Foods in 2018 and is primarily responsible for the entitlement process (acquiring and getting approval for new builds) and all new construction. He also manages new franchise agreements.
Building Great Taco Bells
According to Zach, Border Foods is on a fast track for growth in several existing markets. He says acquisitions and new builds are the key to growing the business. VP of Facilities Brian Davies adds that new construction also increases the company’s visibility and reach in places that don’t have a Taco Bell yet.
“We’re trying to find the best spots to grow the team and have great Taco Bells — not just near headquarters,” Zach says.
Hear more about the construction process from Bryan Barlage, co-owner of B2 Builders and a longtime trusted vendor partner of Border’s in remodels and new builds:
There’s no doubt, the positive impact of these projects is felt immediately. New restaurants often involve up to 50 new jobs for any area. In rural towns, our projects often involve closed restaurants or dilapidated buildings and without cutting corners, Border Foods comes in and erects something fresh, new and modern.
“It’s usually a catalyst for other development,” Zach says.
Consider Border’s exciting QSR “first” in the innovative Defy, which opened over the summer. There was a bank built prior, but Border Foods’ investment uplifted the whole corner where there also is now a Take 5 Oil Change.
While to the outside world, restaurant improvements and new builds may appear like they’re solely for customer benefit, the impact of reinvestment on the team member experience is exceptionally important to Border Foods leadership.
On the remodel side of the business, Brian says there are also lots of exciting projects planned for 2023. In his role, he oversees Border’s Facilities team and handles remodels, large capital expenditures and equipment installation.
According to him, Taco Bell Corporate requires periodic remodels per contractual obligations at 10 or 12.5 years (called a midterm remodel), or just prior to term end on franchise agreements (called successor remodels). It’s Border Foods that adds impact to the employee to its end goal.
“It definitely gives our guests a fresh look at our facilities, gives them an improved experience,” says Brian of remodels. But, he goes on to say, “touching the kitchen” by simply investing in new floors or improving kitchen flow, gives Border Foods’ team members the safe, clean environment they deserve to do their jobs well.
How does Border Foods identify what needs to be updated to make things better? Well, when the HVAC system is not working and team members are working hard but uncomfortable, it’s obvious! But perhaps one of the most valuable pieces to the puzzle is the fact that many on Brian’s team started in operations. They’ve worked in the kitchens and know what it’s like, so he engages them to be part of restaurant walk throughs to help evaluate what changes are needed to really affect lives for the better.
“What makes it exciting for me, is to be able to walk away from these projects knowing we made an impact on someone’s life,” says Brian.
Celebrations to Come
We’ll have more project updates soon! In the meantime, a huge shout out to the restaurant team at our new Minocqua, WI location, which opened October 24.
To close out the year, we look forward to also celebrating the following upcoming Taco Bell openings:
- Rib Mountain, WI – opening Nov/Dec 2022
- Battle Creek, MI (Urbandale) – opening Dec 2022
Check out our photo gallery of the rest of 2022’s new builds: