Pancheros Mexican Grill has big plans to expand in coming years — more than doubling its number of locations by 2019.
The Coralville-based company plans to open 16 locations in 2014, including Connecticut and Michigan in the first and second quarter, while working toward opening another 70 restaurants over the next five years.
The Mexican restaurant chain opened eight new stores in 2013 while also signing 10 leases for development. Last year also marked new territory for the company as it expanded into Missouri, New Jersey and Illinois.
Rodney Anderson, president of Pancheros Mexican Grill, told The Gazette that the company builds restaurants in high volume areas near college campuses and in suburban areas. Its first location was in downtown Iowa City, and several other Big 10 college towns have Pancheros locations.
“Sustainable, efficient growth is a priority every year at Pancheros,” Anderson said in a news release. “In 2013, our 21st year of operation, we were able to not only succeed in meeting our growth goals but did so in a strategic way. Drawing on this momentum, we hope to make 2014 just as historic for the company.”The quick-serve fresh Mexican franchise, launched in 1992, operates 65 stores nationwide. It saw a 17.2 percent increase in sales during 2013, according to the news release.