It’s a new era for On The Border, a Tex-Mex series that has been dwindling for years.
The formerly popular Texas dining chain has been plagued by problems stemming from cost-cutting measures: From ground beef (not enough flavor!) to tortillas (why don’t these taste fresh?), food quality has been taking a hit across the board. And customers are starting to notice.
according to business restaurant, From 2006 to 2021, sales at On The Border shrank more than 36%, while its footprint fell 17% to just 125 locations, according to Technomic Ignite data. Things weren’t looking good for the 40-year-old chain, and something had to be done.
On The Border took action during the pandemic, hiring new C-groups, including CEO Tim Ward and CFO Bruce Vermilyea – both of whom made immediate changes. The chain has taken a good and closer look at its menu and started making improvements. added fat and flavor to beef; launched non-Mexican items such as burgers and pizza; simplify more complex items such as salads; Introduce over 20 new items such as the popular Smokehouse Fajitas and Honey Chipotle Shrimp Tacos; And they brought back the on-site tortillas.
In addition, On the Border now boasts an all-new website, an easy-to-use online ordering system, and a digital queue that texts guests when their tables are ready. Repeat customers are rewarded with Border Bonuses and the Queso Club Subscription Program ($1 plus the price of one bowl of queso members get a queso free for one year when they dine).
All these great efforts have paid off. For the first time in 15 years, On The Border is on track to post positive annual sales, and it’s expanding into new locations including Anchorage, Alaska.
“This is an exciting time for everyone on On The Border,” Ward says. “After a challenging year in the restaurant industry, we continue to prove that On The Border is a best-in-class brand with lasting strength.”
Danielle Braff is a freelance writer based in Chicago. Read more