Del Taco isn’t trendy or cutting-edge, and it doesn’t have a quirky story. But the Mexican chain has managed to carve out a coveted spot in the restaurant industry between Taco Bell and Chipotle – and it’s thriving there.
On Monday, the company reported preliminary fourth-quarter earnings, with revenue reaching $452.1 million in fiscal 2016, representing 6.6% growth from 2015. The company’s stock soared 35% in 2016, with strong earnings in the second half of the year helping to propel it.
“Fast casual” has become the coveted, aspirational tag line for restaurant chains eager to become the next Chipotle.
Instead, Del Taco has doubled down on food quality in recent years and has found success by embracing a model closer to that of traditional quick-service, or fast-food, restaurants.