Want a bite? New Mad Mex CEO talks about the future of the brand

By Sarah Stowe | 27 Jul 2015 View comments

Since serving up their very first burrito in 2007, Mexican food experts Mad Mex have found a permanent place in the heart of Australians.
In a market brimming with people looking for 'healthier fast food options', Mad Mex boldly embraced the diversity of peoples' dietary requirements and introduced a delicious product that is not only fully customisable, but made to order before your eyes. 
Their fresh ingredients, unique flavour profiles and funky vibes spoke to a wide audience; and today, more than 70,000 people per week look to Mad Mex to get their next burrito fix. 
Authentic Mexican food; once considered a niche market has become a daily go-to meal for many Australian’s thanks in parts, to Mad Mex founder Clovis Young.
Newly appointed CEO Fabian Rebelo says that the business is now at a point where it is transitioning from a small company, to a medium sized company. As such there is an increased need for someone to take over the running of the business, whilst Clovis continues to fly in and out of Mexico looking for new flavours and concentrates his efforts on the brands international growth.
Rebelo says “eight years ago, it was next to impossible to get a good burrito in Australia. I think we have been integral in making Mexican food a part of peoples' diet”. 
Rebelo remarks that peoples' changing attitudes toward Mexican cuisine has opened Mad Mex up to a wider range of consumers. 
“The market isn't just for the young fast foodies now,” he says. “We're finding that we're now also appealing to people over 35, with families; that bring their kids in-store too.”
Talks of nationwide expansion are already under-way, following the appointment of Rebelo; with plans to open – on average – one store per month, to take the brand's total network to a little over a hundred across Australia and New Zealand. 
Rebelo hints of future expansion in the Asian market, mentioning that directors are already overseas reviewing potential partners. 
“Let's just say that within the next twelve months – we will definitely be opening our doors in a different country.”
Plans to trade in the brands' Baja aesthetic in favour of an urban cantina theme – or what Rebelo likes to call “Mad Mex 3.0” – are already in action, despite a store refresh having occurred just 12 months prior. 
“We never sit still here,” he says. “We're constantly looking at ways to improve.”
“The new look has a very laid-back, chilled feeling about it…it's worn and distressed, without being fabricated, giving it a more authentic feel.”
Queensland's Pacific Fair is set to be the first store to debut the new look.
Redecorating and global-domination aside; Rebelo is also looking at further developing the Mad Mex franchise concept, offering more support to in-house staff and franchisees, while tweaking the product offering and layering in more authentic specialty ingredients. 
“The concept itself improves on a daily basis,” he says. “we have just launched a brand new staff engagement platform that allows our team nationally – whether they're with company owned stores or franchisees – to communicate with each other and belong to a greater whole.”
The brand new system not only serves as a communication platform between staff, but also looks to provide easy onboarding of new employees, with all training materials made readily available online. 
“The plan is to employ and engage people to want to be part of something bigger – members of the Mad Mex tribe – so that we can grow something great, together.”
Rebelo is set to take the brand to new heights; confident that his direction with aid in further progressing Mad Mex's already growing reputation into a mainstream business that is suitable for everyone.