The popular Australian fast-food chain, serving high-quality, “clean” Mexican food, has opened its first location in the States.
Guzman y Gomez (GYG) is something of a borderless franchising case study: it’s a Mexican restaurant, yet started in Australia, and was founded by two native New Yorkers.
The brand currently operates 135 restaurants and drive-thrus around the world, and its founders have made a grand return to the States with GYG’s flagship opening in the Chicago suburb of Naperville. This initial location could be the first in a long line of “hundreds, if not thousands,” according to Steven Marks, CEO and co-founder, who believes the appetizing concept will be heartily adopted by the U.S. foodie market.
“We both grew up in New York, and it’s always been our dream to bring the brand back to the U.S.,” said Marks, who founded the brand with executive director Robert Hazan in 2006. “I want our very first [location] in Naperville to be the one everyone knows about and visits. We chose Naperville because of the community. We kept hearing about this city, which is ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S., and the moment we arrived here and saw the site, we knew this was where our first U.S. drive-thru restaurant had to be.”
GYG prides itself on serving real, made-to-order Mexican food using fresh and authentic ingredients. In 2019, after three years in the making, the brand announced that its food was 100 per cent clean, meaning it contained no added preservatives, artificial flavors, added colors, or unacceptable additives.
The Mexican franchise’s menu includes beloved staples, like burritos, Chipotle seasoned fries, and nacho fries. GYG also offers a selection of made-to-order breakfast items, such as a chorizo breakfast burrito, or avocado on toast. Because of the brand’s energetic approach to food prep, GYG is able to make over 750 fresh, made-to-order burritos every hour, across its locations in Singapore, Australia, Japan, and now the U.S.