It gives us great pleasure to welcome you to our newest blog post, in which we’ll delve into the world of Cafe Rio, a well-known fast-casual chain that has been creating a stir in the restaurant industry. This article will discuss the history of Cafe Rio, the unique qualities that set it apart from other franchises, and the benefits and drawbacks of owning a Cafe Rio franchise. Let’s embark on this fantastic voyage together, so bring your fave Cafe Rio dish with you!

The U.S. sales of Cafe Rio will reach $304 million in 2021 thanks to recent expansion. The national network of fast-casual Mexican restaurants, which was founded in southern Utah in 1997, now has several locations. Cafe Rio is having a big impact on the fast-casual restaurant business, even though I was unable to locate precise industry figures for them. Their recent openings have been a success, and their digital model is driving volume increases.

According to Ibisworld, the total number of Mexican restaurant opportunities is 49,354 in the United States with an expected growth rate of 2% in 2023. Cumulative Market growth for 2018 to 2023 is anticipated at 2.5%.


What is Cafe Rio Mexican Grill?

Real Mexican food is the main focus of the fast-casual restaurant chain Cafe Rio. In 1997, Cafe Rio opened its first location in St. George, Utah, and has subsequently expanded to numerous additional US cities. The restaurant takes pleasure in using top-notch ingredients and places an emphasis on flavor and freshness. Burritos, tacos, salads, enchiladas, and other Mexican meals are available on their menu. Diners seeking a good and fun eating experience frequently choose Cafe Rio because of its energetic atmosphere and dedication to customer satisfaction.

Is Cafe Rio a franchise opportunity?

There is no franchising opportunity at Cafe Rio. Rather than using franchises, the corporation owns its stores directly. This means that the individual restaurants are owned and managed by Cafe Rio itself, allowing the company to maintain consistent quality and brand identity across all its locations. While this may change in the future, currently, Cafe Rio does not offer franchise opportunities for potential investors.

Facts About Cafe Rio Mexican Grill

  1. Cafe Rio was founded in 1997 in St. George, Utah, by Steve and Patricia Stanley, inspired by traditional Mexican cuisine and the couple’s travels to Mexico.
  2. The restaurant’s name, “Cafe Rio,” was selected to exemplify the vibrant, vivacious atmosphere that it wished to create for its customers.
  3. Cafe Rio is dedicated to using high-quality, fresh foods and doesn’t use can openers, microwaves, or freezers in their kitchens.
  4. With a focus on traditional Mexican cuisine and flavors, the company’s recipes have remained mostly intact since its founding.
  5. The tortillas at Cafe Rio are freshly cooked every day, giving their food a more authentic flavor.
  6. The restaurant chain has received numerous awards and accolades over the years, including being named the “#1 Quick Serve Mexican Restaurant in the Nation” by Sandelman & Associates.
  7. Cafe Rio is committed to sustainability, and several of its sites have water-saving fixtures, energy-efficient LED lighting, and recycling programs.
  8. The business donates thousands of meals to individuals in need through its “Cafe Rio Gives Back” program and other charity endeavors, which support local communities.
  9. The menu at Cafe Rio offers alternatives that are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free to accommodate a variety of dietary preferences.
  10. Several new locations have opened for the restaurant chain recently, expanding its reach across the country.

Cafe Rio Franchise Info

The company operates its locations through corporate ownership, which means individual restaurants are owned and managed by Cafe Rio itself. However, I can provide you with general information about Cafe Rio as a company


Cafe Rio Franchise Information and Reviews

Industry Type Food Franchise Opportunities
Sub Category Mexican Restaurant 
Year Established 1997
Company Name Cafe Rio Mexican Grill
Founder/Management Head Steve and Patricia Stanley (founders)
Franchising Started Not a franchise
Employees at Company H.O Information not available
Franchise Expansion Plan Not a franchise
Number of Units Over 120 locations (as of 2021)
Number of Franchise Units Not a franchise
Social Media Handles Facebook
Company Office location  Salt Lake City, Utah


How much does a Cafe Rio franchise cost?

Consequently, there are no franchise requirements or costs because it is not a franchise.Since Cafe Rio is not a franchise, there are no franchise fee, costs, royalty fees, advertising fees, or terms of agreement associated with franchising the brand.

How much do Cafe Rio franchise owners make?

The company operates its locations through corporate ownership, which means individual restaurants are owned and managed by Cafe Rio itself. Consequently, there are no franchise owners for Cafe Rio, and it’s not possible to provide information on how much they make since the concept doesn’t exist within the company’s business model.

Cafe Rio operations to franchises

The company operates its locations through corporate ownership, meaning individual restaurants are owned and managed by Cafe Rio itself. Therefore, there is no training or operations support provided to franchisees, as the concept of franchising does not exist within Cafe Rio’s business model.



Pros and cons of owning a Cafe Rio franchise

The company operates its locations through corporate ownership, meaning individual restaurants are owned and managed by Cafe Rio itself. Consequently, there are no financial assistance programmes or pros and cons associated with owning this franchise, as the concept of franchising does not exist within the company’s business model.

What are Cafe Rio Mexican Grill franchise reviews?

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill is a fast-casual restaurant chain that specialises in Mexican cuisine. The company has built a reputation for serving fresh, made-from-scratch meals in a lively and colourful atmosphere.

Reviews for Cafe Rio tend to be positive, with customers frequently praising the quality and taste of the food, the freshness of the ingredients, and the friendly service. However, as with any restaurant chain, experiences may vary from location to location, and some customers may have less favourable experiences.

Popular menu items at Cafe Rio include their sweet pork barbacoa, fire-grilled chicken, and handmade tortillas. The restaurant also offers a wide variety of customizable options, such as tacos, burritos, salads, and more.

To get a better understanding of customer reviews for Cafe Rio, you can visit websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, where you’ll find individual restaurant ratings and customer feedback for various locations. Keep in mind that reviews can be subjective, and personal tastes and preferences can influence individual opinions.

Cafe Rio Franchise Rankings

The company operates its locations through corporate ownership, which means individual restaurants are owned and managed by Cafe Rio itself. Consequently, there are no franchise rankings for Cafe Rio, as the concept of franchising does not exist within the company’s business model. Therefore, it’s not possible to provide information on these franchise rankings.

Franchise Deck Analysis and Overview

Cafe Rio is an American fast-casual restaurant chain that specialises in Mexican cuisine, with its headquarters in Salt Lake City. Founded in 1997, the company has grown to have over 1,000 employees and is privately held. They are known for their made-from-scratch Mexican food, using fresh ingredients, and are particularly famous for their Original Sweet Pork Barbacoa.

Competition Analysis of Cafe Rio Franchises

Cafe Rio Cost to Franchise Franchisee Fees Royalty + Ad fees Expected Profit Recoup of Capital FD Rating
Cafe Rio  3.7/5.0
Qdoba  Franchise $252,800–$816,700 For NON-TRADITIONAL


$476,800-$1,096,700 For TRADITIONAL

$30,000 5% $100,000 4-5 years 3.9/5.0
Costa Vida Franchise $467,500 – $1,202,500 $35,000 5%+2% $1.5 million 3-4.3 years 3.8/5.0
Five Guys Franchise $306,200 to $641,250.  $25,000     6% $136,344 to 


4 to 6 


McAlister’s Deli Franchise


$175,000 to $1,360,000 $15,000 to $15,000 5% $1,865,861 4-6 years 3.5/5.0
Jason’s Deli Franchise $1,020,759 to $1,554,891 $17,500 6% $2,080,645  5-6 years 3.9/5.0

The Franchise Deck rating for Cafe Rio’s franchise is 3.7/5.0.


Conclusion: Can You Buy Cafe Rio Franchise? 

In conclusion, Cafe Rio has established itself as a prominent player in the fast-casual dining industry, specialising in delicious, made-from-scratch Mexican cuisine. Their commitment to using fresh ingredients and offering an authentic dining experience has garnered a loyal customer base. Since it is a privately held business, Cafe Rio is an appealing franchise opportunity for business owners looking to invest in a well-known brand. It also continues to grow and solidify its position in the market. The corporate chain Cafe Rio is a superb option to take into consideration if you’re looking for one that emphasises authenticity and quality.

You can explore fast-casual restaurants  franchise opportunities can look at 


  1. QDoba Franchise 
  2. Costa Vida Franchise
  3. Jack in the Box Franchise
  4. Five Guys Franchise 
  5. Jason Deli’s Franchise 
  6. McAlister’s Franchise
  7. Chipotle Franchise
  8. Black Bear Diner Franchise


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Does the Cafe Rio franchise ?

The Cafe Rio’s franchise ia avilable to limited entrepreuers on basis of their experience and suitable locations.

  • Can you make money owning a Cafe Rio?

Yes, owning a Cafe Rio can potentially be a lucrative business opportunity, provided you manage it effectively and choose a suitable location. However, like any business, there are risks involved, and profitability is not guaranteed.

  • Is Cafe Rio a franchise?

Cafe Rio operates through a mix of corporate-owned and franchised locations. Therefore, yes, Cafe Rio does offer franchising opportunities for interested entrepreneurs.

  • How much is a Cafe Rio franchise?

The cost of opening This franchise can vary depending on factors like location, size, and required renovations. For accurate and up-to-date information on franchise fees and investment requirements, it’s best to contact Cafe Rio’s corporate office or visit their official website.

  • How do Cafe Rio franchises make money?

This company generates revenue through the sale of their Mexican cuisine, including burritos, tacos, salads, and more. Additionally, franchises may also earn income through catering services, online orders, limited-time promotions, or seasonal offerings. As a franchise owner, your profit will depend on your ability to manage costs, drive sales, and maintain a loyal customer base.

Published On: May 13th, 2023 / Categories: Food Franchise Opportunities, Taco ad Mexican Franchises /

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