Industry Veteran Has Big Growth Plans as New VP of Development for Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill

Industry Veteran Has Big Growth Plans as New VP of Development for Salsarita's Fresh Mexican Grill

Shannon Glaser
Shannon Glaser

Shannon Glaser’s mother introduced her to franchising when she was only 22, and more than 15 years later her zest and talent for the industry continues, with Glaser recently being named Vice President of Business Development for Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill, the fast-casual chain with more than 80 locations in 18 states.

“I believe fast-casual is a segment that many operators are looking to enter,” Glaser said. “Consumers want a fast, casual experience but have higher expectations of quality food and I think Salsarita’s is hitting on all cylinders in this space.”

Glaser learned the fundamentals of the franchising industry while helping her mother franchise a children’s photography business, taking it from inception to more than 100 locations from coast to coast in three years. Glaser followed that success when she was named director of franchise development for Front Burner Restaurants’ brand, Twin Peaks in 2010. During her six-year tenure, Twin Peaks grew from five locations to almost 90 and was named “Fastest Growing Chain Restaurant” in 2014.

Prior to joining Salsarita’s, Glaser ran her own firm, Elevate Franchise Experts, providing consulting services in all areas of development to start-up franchise concepts. In addition to her wealth of franchising experience, Glaser holds a master’s degree in Global Business and Marketing Management from the University of Dallas and she earned Certified Franchise Executive designation from the International Franchise Association in 2013.

Founded in Charlotte in 2000, Salsarita’s offers Mexican favorites such as six flavorful house-made salsas, custom burritos, tacos, nachos and salads all made fresh to order with an extensive selection of proteins, toppings and fillings.

“I was immediately drawn by the freshness and quality of the entire Salsarita’s menu,” Glaser said. “As a busy, working single mom I’m often in a hurry but still want healthy options for my child. Salsarita’s really resonates to my segment of the educated, health-conscious mother.”

In 2017, Salsarita’s refreshed its brand image – it was formerly known as Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina – introducing a new logo and new store prototype featuring vibrant color schemes that reflect its fresh ingredients along with light wood and exposed ceilings. Drive-thrus are also an option for suitable locations.

“Salsarita’s has done such a wonderful job of bringing out a fresh, vibrant environment with materials from crisp whites to woods and metals,” Glaser said. “It’s just one more reason the concept held such great appeal for me on all levels. I know we are positioned for strong franchise growth.”

While with the Twin Peaks restaurant brand, Glaser sold more than 120-plus franchise commitments over a four-year period, including a 35-store franchise commitment covering a six-state region. Similarly, Glaser wants to use her past experience and success in multi-unit development to bolster Salsarita’s growth. Although its boasts locations in 18 states, the majority of Salsarita’s stores are in the Southeast.

“I want to identify top restaurant groups across the country that are looking to expand their portfolio with a fast-casual brand that is poised for significant growth,” Glaser said. “I think this concept has so many appealing aspects from the freshness and quality of the product along with a strong catering component to its well-designed spaces and newly launched drive-thru. It really is an exciting evolution of the brand and an ideal opportunity for a strong franchise player looking for a new concept.”

For more information, visit, like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @salsaritas.