Qdoba: “What are you going to love at Qdoba?”

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In 1995, Anthony Miller and his partner, Rober Houser, of Colorado, opened the Zuma Fresh Mexican Grill at Grant Street and Sixth Avenue in Denver. That location is still in operation today.

Qdoba’s 715 USA Locations

Two men couldn’t be more different!

Miller was an investment banker with Merril Lynch and Hauser was attending the Culinary Institute of America and working at the Le Cirque restaurant. It was here, in New York City, that the two men met and opened their first Mexican restaurant, Zuma Fresh Mexican Grill in 1995, in Denver, Colorado.

Hauser was concerned with more than just tasty food, he wanted his menu to offer healthier dishes, using more fresh vegetables and herbs and fewer animal fats.

Zuma was the name of a friend’s cat.

The Denver, Colorado location was a quick success, with line-ups stretching out the door and revenues exceeding $1,500,000 in the first year. Service was fast, with a wait time of just seven minutes for customers in a 30-person line to get served.

In 1997, the name of the company’s name was changed from Zuma to Z-Teca Mexican Grill. During the same year, Z-teca began to offer franchise opportunities to encourage expansion outside of Colorado.

In 1998, with capital investments from Western Capital and other investors, the company opened 25 new locations.  By the following year,
Z-Teca had 49 locations in 19 states.

In 1999, a chicken burrito cost only $4.79]

While Z-Teca was just a made-up name, Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill in Arizona and Azteca in Washington state felt that the name was too similar to their names and so Z-Teca became Qdoba Mexican Grill.

In 2003, Jack in the Box paid $45 million to obtain Qdoba from ACI Capital, Wester Growth Capital and other private investors.

In 2014, Jack in the Box made the decision to integrate Qdoba’s headquarters into Jack in the Box’s main headquarters in California starting in January 2017

As of 2013, Qdoba operates over 715 fast-casual restaurant locations throughout the United States.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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