Guzman y Gomez returns 'home' with launch in the US

Guzman y Gomez returns 'home' with launch in the US

Australian Tex-Mex restaurant chain Guzman y Gomez has launched its first ever restaurant in the United States.

The Illinois store is the group's 135th restaurant globally, with the chain's footprint extending from Australia to Singapore, Japan, and now the US.

But for the founders of Guzman y Gomez, launching in the US is somewhat of a homecoming moment.

Both co-founders Steven Marks and Robert Hazan are native New Yorkers, so making the return 'home' is an exciting moment for the pair that established their Mexican restaurant in Australia.

"We both grew up in New York and it's always been our dream to bring the brand back to the US," says Marks.

"We have looked at sites all over the US for a number of years, and we were really particular about it because we knew our first restaurant in the US had to be special."

The new restaurant, located unconventionally in the suburb of Naperville, Chicago, is the next step for the growing restaurant chain.

There's certainly no shortage of Tex-Mex food in the US so the business has its work cut out for itself, but the founders hope the menu and breadth of choices will be an exciting dining experience for local residents.

"We chose Naperville because of the community," says Marks.

"We kept hearing about this city, which is ranked as one of the best places to live in the US and the moment we arrived here and saw the site, we knew this was where our first US restaurant had to be."

"We intend on opening hundreds, if not thousands of GYG locations across the US and, while this won't be our last, I want our very first in Naperville to be the one everyone knows about and visits."

Founded in 2006 in Newtown, Sydney, Marks and Hazan founded the business because they couldn't find quality Mexican food in Australia.

The company has been pushing the boundaries of what food delivery can be too, pioneering the Google Wing food delivery program in Canberra where customers can receive burritos via a drone.

"We're on a mission to change how people view fast food because it doesn't have to be bad food," says Marks.

"We've come a long way from our roots; we are known for our passion for high-quality food and incredible energy, and what's truly unique is how quickly food is prepared."

The expansion into the US has been assisted by a $44 million investment from TDM Growth Partners that Guzman y Gomez received back in 2018.

Australian companies appear to be looking toward Chicago with increased interest, with the recently announced Brisbane to Chicago direct flight operated by Qantas opening up trade opportunities for businesses.

The national carrier will fly directly from Brisbane to Chicago in partnership with American Airlines, but be warned: the flight takes more than 20 hours.

The new routes, to be operated by Qantas' Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, are expected to launch by the end of April 2020 and will add more than 170,000 seats across the Pacific each year.

Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

Business News Australia

Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support

New report reveals 68 per cent of businesses are vulnerable to a cybersecurity attack

Partner Content
36 per cent of employees fear their organisation is at risk of financial losse...
SAI Global
Advertisement

Related Stories

Smartgroup shares plunge as suitor lowers takeover offer

Smartgroup shares plunge as suitor lowers takeover offer

Shares in Smartgroup (ASX: SIQ) have fallen back to where they were...

APA gets look in at AusNet for $9.96 billion takeover offer

APA gets look in at AusNet for $9.96 billion takeover offer

AusNet Services (ASX: AST) has today granted due diligence access t...

Pacific Fair sale puts the spotlight on buyers for Dexus’ minority stake

Pacific Fair sale puts the spotlight on buyers for Dexus’ minority stake

The Gold Coast’s Pacific Fair shopping centre, fresh from pla...

Atlassian boss pledges $1.5 billion for green investments amidst frustration over net zero chatter

Atlassian boss pledges $1.5 billion for green investments amidst frustration over net zero chatter

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes may be taking the high roa...