Costa Vida Appoints Terry Jennings as Director of Franchise Development

With over 60 restaurant locations spread across the US and several new markets opening this year, Costa Vida is riding a high tide of company growth.  To augment that growth, Costa Vida welcomes a seasoned veteran to the management team, Terry Jennings, as the new Director of Franchise Development.

Bringing with him decades of experience in every facet of Franchising and Operations in the restaurant industry, Jennings’ role will focus on strategic growth in existing markets and select development of new territories for Costa Vida.  Primary objectives include, recruiting the very best restaurant operators to be part of the Costa Vida family, strategically targeting growth markets across the US, and increasing average unit sales by positioning new locations in the strongest retail space possible.

With over 30 years of restaurant experience, Jennings has worked in every aspect of domestic and international restaurant development, operations and innovation.  A major portion of that time was with McDonald’s and during his tenure, he helped introduce McDonald’s into Mexico, living in Mexico City and working with Joint Venture Partners and Franchisees. He also formed relationships with Wal*Mart and oil companies like Exxon, Chevron, and Amoco for restaurant development, and headed corporate initiatives in franchising, marketing, supply chain, restaurant design, and quality management while working at McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.  Most recently, Jennings’ was responsible for Strategic Development for Five Guys Burgers & Fries in Canada where they opened the chains first international location followed by another 40 restaurants including the highest sales locations for the past 4 years.

“When Costa Vida opened its first location in 2003, I was in the restaurant trying the food and enjoying the experience,” said Jennings. “Costa Vida’s flavors and menu are inspired by the Mexican Costal regions where there is an abundance of fruits, vegetables and meats.  The food is much lighter and healthier with a greater variety than the traditional Sonoran and Tex Mex offerings typically associated with Mexican food. Costa Vida is a best in class brand that will Redefine Mexican Food and the Fast Casual dining experience.”  Jennings also commented that the Costa Vida team has spent the last few years laying a foundation capable of supporting the success of their business partners and restaurant growth across the country.

Costa Vida food is made from scratch every day. The menu is inspired by the local cuisine of the Baja Peninsula Coast and features made-to-order burritos, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, salads and nachos. Protein choices include sweet pork, grilled chicken, shredded beef, raspberry chipotle chicken, grilled steak, chile verde, Mahi Mahi fish and shrimp. Entrées are served with cilantro lime rice and black, refried or pinto beans. The homemade guacamole, sauces, and salsas that can be used to customize any order, include Mango Salsa, Honey Habanero Salsa, Salsa Fresca, and Pico de Gallo.

With the exception of the flour and wheat tortillas, tres leches and key lime pie desserts, Costa Vida’s menu items are gluten free.

A typical footprint for a Costa Vida restaurant is 3,000 square feet and most have patio dining.

For more information on the Costa Vida franchise opportunity, please visit