Two men who have grown Capital Tacos from a single Tex-Mex storefront in Land O’ Lakes to five regional restaurants are expanding the chain again, to five more cities in the South, and hoping that Tampa Bay’s reputation as a launching pad for successful food chains holds.

What’s happening: Months after announcing franchise opportunities, Capital Tacos is partnering with CloudKitchens to start selling from-scratch tacos in Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, Nashville, and Charlotte.

Josh Luger, co-owner and operator partner, tells Axios that they’ve deliberately built a quality “fast casual, plus” brand in Tampa Bay over a decade and demand is strong.

  • The notion they’re banking on is that customers will wait a little longer and pay a little more for homemade Tex-Mex that’s better than good — and they’ll appreciate a menu that’s often inspired by and unique to the market.
  • For instance: The Florida Man taco, with fried gator, sold out the day it debuted in Wesley Chapel.

Yes, but: They want to scale up at the right pace, without cutting corners and losing quality.

  • “We’ve had paths to grow a lot faster,” Luger tells Axios. “But the best way to ruin it is to grow too fast.”

Flashback: So many now-ubiquitous restaurants got their start in Tampa Bay — from Hooters to Bonefish Grill to Outback Steakhouse — that the region has long been known as fertile soil for growing national chains.

  • But many with ambition to grow have sputtered out.

What they’re saying: “It’s never about moving as fast as possible,” Luger said. “We want to get better as we grow.”

How Much do Franchise Owners Make?

“Some researchers have tried to crunch the numbers with the aim of helping potential franchise owners get an idea of the income that they can expect by buying a franchise. According to a survey done by Franchise Business Review involving 28,500 franchise owners, the average pre-tax annual income of franchise owners is about 80,000 dollars. However, this number should be taken with a grain of salt bearing in mind that it could be inflated by high incomes of a few top performers. When researchers accounted for the inflations caused by the few top franchises, it was established that the average annual income of 51 percent of franchisees is less than 50,000 dollars. The study also found that only 7 percent of franchise owners earn over 250,000 dollars a year.

The survey by Franchise Business Review also found that about 21 percent of franchise opportunities are in the quick-service restaurants’ industry. This is despite the fact that restaurant businesses require a bigger initial investment compared to some other businesses with almost similar profit potential. On average, franchise owners in the restaurant industry take home about 82,000 dollars a year. However, the start-up cost can be anywhere between 100,000 dollars and a million dollars.”

How Much Do Franchise Owners Make?, Franchise Direct