Fresh Mexican franchise unveiled

By Sarah Stowe | 05 Apr 2017 View comments

A brand new Mexican franchise is launching after four years trialling the concept.

The Funky Mexican Cantina aims to provide a full service, full flavour experience restaurant and it starts with head chef Ariel.

“I was born in Tequisquiapan, Queretaro, Mexico. When I was a child, my mother would hold large family gatherings and cook everything from scratch. I spent many hours in the kitchen with her and Nana expanding my knowledge of traditional Mexican cuisine. Their teachings continue to have a major influence on me to this day.”

Ariel worked in his uncle’s restaurant from the age of eight and continued his career at exclusive restaurants and hotels before arriving in Australia 11 years ago.

The company behind the casual dining concept is Hog’s Australia who see the second brand as a valuable addition.

CEO Ross Worth told Inside Franchise Business “About five years ago we were looking at ways to continue to evolve the company and looked at the food trends.”

A visit to the US confirmed the direction Hog’s would take, and once back in Australia, the business worked with its head office landlord to find a neighbouring restaurant space.

With Mexican chef Ariel on board the business was able to open the doors to its first venue, right next door to the Hog's Breath Cafe in Cleveland, Brisbane, testing the menu on head office staff.

Four years on and the business is ready for franchising.

Flavour profiles are important, says Worth, and with Ariel grinding spices in a pestle and mortar, there has been some adaptation of the dishes of his family recipes to tone down the authentic spice flavour to suit local tastes.

“At Funky’s you can expect carefully crafted, authentic Mexican cuisine developed to suit the Australian palate. Our menu is based on traditional recipes and ingredients, combined with a fresh and healthy approach,” Ariel says.

On the menu are dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas, burritos, and chorizo burgers.

Existing Hog’s franchisees keen to embrace the new initiative and take on a second brand will be first in line to invest in The Funky Mexican but opportunities to join the network will be available to the public.

The first two franchise outlets will be opening in Perth with a Hog’s Breath Cafe franchisee at the helm.