You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

N.Y. firm’s investment will speed growth of Torchy’s Tacos


Highlights

Specific details of the investment, which is expected to close in the third quarter, weren’t released.

All Torchy’s locations are company-owned. The chain doesn’t currently offer franchises.

Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos has teamed with a New York equity firm to help speed the chain’s growth.

The firm, General Atlantic, has taken “a significant minority interest,” Torchy’s management said Tuesday.

Specific financial details of the investment, which is expected to close in the third quarter, weren’t released.

Torchy’s, which got its start with a single food trailer on South First Street in South Austin in 2006, has grown to 46 locations in three states – Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado – over the past decade. New locations are in the works in Arlington, Kingwood, West Houston and Tulsa, Okla.

All Torchy’s locations are company-owned. The chain doesn’t currently offer franchises.

“Thanks to all of our taco junkies, Torchy’s has experienced incredible growth in the past 11 years,” founder Michael Rypka said in a written statement. “We are excited about how the partnership with the General Atlantic team will help us continue to grow our business while staying committed to doing what we do best, which is to serve our guests ‘Damn Good Tacos.’”

Rypka says he mortgaged his house and maxed out his credit cards to get the business up and running. Over the years, he’s won a host of awards, grabbed headlines in food and travel magazines and attracted a devoted fan base. Then-President Barack Obama, for instance, stopped by Torchy’s during a 2016 visit to Austin, ordering three tacos off the menu – a Democrat, a Republican and an Independent.

A privately held company, Torchy’s doesn’t publicly disclose its sales figures. Citing estimates provided by Technomic, a recent Restaurant Business Magazine report said the chain brought in about $32.8 million in 2015, up 31 percent over the previous year.

The average Torchy’s location brought in just over $1 million that year, according to Restaurant Business Magazine. That was down 4 percent comparted to 2014 estimates.

As part of the deal, General Atlantic’s Andrew Crawford and Shaw Joseph will join the Torchy’s board of directors. So will Todd Diener, former president of Chili’s.

Other board members include Rypka and his Torchy’s partners: vice president of business development Farrell Kubena, vice president of finance Rebecca Kubena, vice president of operations Jason Wald and vice president of technology Alfonso Angelone.

“We are excited to partner with Torchy’s to continue to cultivate and expand the beloved brand’s passionate customer base,” Crawford said. “We admire the management team’s deep ambition and believe the authenticity of Torchy’s uniquely positions the concept to be successful across a wide-ranging demographic of customers and geographies.”

General Atlantic invests in a wide variety of businesses. Past investments have included Airbnb, Uber, Buzzfeed, Too Faced Cosmetics and Tory Burch.

“Torchy’s Tacos’ innovative flavors and food combinations have enabled the company to reach a growing market of fast-casual diners,” Joseph said. “We believe that the combination of General Atlantic’s industry resources and expertise, as well as our global brand-building experience, will help us to grow Torchy’s into a category leader, while still remaining true to the original mission of the brand.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Yeti sues 3 more companies over ‘confusingly similar’ tumblers
Yeti sues 3 more companies over ‘confusingly similar’ tumblers

Austin-based Yeti Coolers is continuing its crusade against companies that make products it contends are “confusingly similar” to the ones it manufactures, suing three more companies this month. In a filing in U.S. District Court in Austin, attorneys for Yeti say tumblers sold by RELYMedia, CreekFire and Nine Line Apparel too closely resemble...
Yeti sues 3 more companies over ‘confusingly similar’ tumblers
Yeti sues 3 more companies over ‘confusingly similar’ tumblers

Austin-based Yeti Coolers is continuing its crusade against companies that make products it contends are “confusingly similar” to the ones it manufactures, suing three more companies this month. In a filing in U.S. District Court in Austin, attorneys for Yeti say tumblers sold by RELYMedia, CreekFire and Nine Line Apparel too closely resemble...
How to teach Austinites about CodeNext? Let’s try Legos
How to teach Austinites about CodeNext? Let’s try Legos

For those looking to learn more about how CodeNext could affect the city, two Austin organizations say the best learning tool might be an old childhood favorite — Legos. The city’s land development code rewrite, known as CodeNext, is expected to be one of Austin’s most impactful long-term policies. But some residents have criticized...
Up the Ladder

Banking & finance Chase has named Marcus Kline vice president and Austin-area manager of business banking. Community The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has named Luis Rodriguez president and chief executive officer. Manufacturing & retail Factory Mattress has named Sarah Johnson chief financial officer. Technology Umbel has named Mike...
Have a great workplace? Let us know

Help us spread the word about the best places to work in Austin. Nominations remain open for the American-Statesman’s 2017 Top Workplaces of Greater Austin project, with the nomination deadline extended until July 7. The project recognizes employers that stand for the best in leadership, vision, an employee-centered culture and other qualities...
More Stories