Randy Wyner, founder of Chronic Tacos grew up as a regular, taco-eating kid in Orange, California; he knew good Mexican food because he was constantly surrounded by it. As a Southern California native, Wyner got a lot of exposure to taquerias – both the good and the bad. However, he found that the tastiest taquerias tended to be the family-owned, hole in the wall shacks.
Wyner found that there was a deficit of this “good” type of taco joints in the Newport Beach, CA area. He was tired of having to jump in his car and drive an extensive distance to find a quality taco when the craving hit. He knew the problem, but didn’t yet realize the solution.
Chronic Tacos was Born
After a long night out with his friend, Daniel Biello, in Newport Beach, CA, the two men were looking for some quality tacos but couldn’t find a worthy place nearby. That was when the idea hit him: made-to order Mexican food that was both fast and fresh. Wyner envisioned a place with great grub, but also with a fun atmosphere – a place where he could enjoy hanging out. From that moment, the idea of Chronic Tacos was born.
“I knew I wanted the laidback vibe with the authenticity I got from local taquerias that had a couple generations working together in the kitchen,” Wyner said. “We didn’t want to be like any other taco place out there. Even as Chronic Tacos has grown we have kept that same uniqueness and authenticity that was behind the first one.”
Wyner wanted the business to be 100 percent authentic, even boiling down to the recipes incorporated into the menu. Wyner received approval to use third-generation recipes from a close family friend in the Chronic Tacos menu, ensuring that the Chronic Tacos food was traditionally Mexican yet had a taste of individuality.
“The taco is versatile, it’s about what you want to make of it and I think that’s where Chronic tacos really stands out – our individuality.”
Neither Wyner nor Biello had restaurant experience, but they were determined to get their unique concept off the ground. The first Chronic Tacos location opened its doors in 2002 in Newport Beach when Wyner was just 26 years old, and the restaurant received quick success. The men immediately started planning how to expand to more locations, and they have loved every minute of it.
“Every day is fun, and I think that’s related to the fact that we love what we do,” Wyner said. “There is never a dull moment, and even with the challenges, we’ve managed to stay true to ourselves. Now that I’m here and I see how it feels to make people happy with great food, I can’t see myself doing anything else… I think it comes down to being true to yourself and what you love doing and putting in the work along the way.”
Living the Chronic Tacos Dream
Chronic Tacos currently has more than 30 locations throughout California, Nevada and Canada. Wyner has a bright vision for the future of Chronic Tacos.
“My original dream for the brand was to make Chronic Tacos a household name, and it is now,” Wyner noted. “It has gone from a small one off taco shop to an amazing brand that is all over the West Coast. When we first opened up we wanted a fun place with great food. The past 12 years have been a remarkable journey and I’d love to bring the awesomeness of Chronic Tacos to every state and across the world.”
For more information on how you can bring a Chronic Tacos franchise to a community near you, visit the Chronic Tacos franchising website today.
Posted on 12/23/2014 at 12:00:00 AM