Roll Em Up brings lit’ taquitos to Amarillo!

A quick-service taquito restaurant from Chino Hills, Calif., called Roll-Em-Up Taquitos is making big moves into Texas after mega-franchisees David Weaver and Blake Terry purchased the rights to open 315 locations in the next eight years.

After previously working together to open 16 locations of The Catch, a fast-casual seafood chain originally co-founded by Weaver, the business partners have signed on for their largest development deal yet with Roll-Em-Up. The agreement includes the exclusive rights to own or franchise restaurants in Texas and Oklahoma, with around 280 locations slated for Texas.

Weaver was also an early investor in WingStop and says people doubted that a chicken wing-only restaurant would work in the beginning. But it did, and now he feels it’s time for a taquito-only restaurant. “Taquitos can be a meal, too,” he says.

Terry is also an experienced franchisee who brought a Burger House to Lubbock at the age of 22 while attending Texas Tech. He says he knew from an early age he wanted to work in restaurant franchising after looking up to his dad, who was a pest control franchisee.

Weaver and Terry flew to Southern California to try the taquito concept by CEO Ryan Usrey after noticing the restaurant on social media. Usrey opened Roll-Em-Up in 2019 to honor his late mother, who was famous among his friends for her homemade taquitos. Her initials, KSU, are discreetly incorporated into Roll-Em-Up’s signage and decor.

During their visit, Weaver liked the “good vibes” coming from the restaurant’s reggae music and bright orange logo. It felt unique, “with new flavors that weren’t being currently represented in the [fast] food industry,” he says.

The base of Roll-Em-Up’s menu consists of freshly rolled, pan-fried flour or corn tortillas, filled with shredded prime chuck roast, citrus marinated chicken, potato-green chili, or cheese with ground beef. Taquitos can be topped with their hand-grated cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend, sour cream, or guacamole, along with a variety of sauces including guac sauce, queso sauce, or an extra spicy, cream-based “lit” sauce.

In time for game season, Roll-Em-Up taquitos come in quantities of up to 100 per box, with delivery available through DoorDash, UberEats, and Grubhub that launched last week.

For sides, there’s rice and pinto beans, along with “street corn,” served on the cob or in a cup. The corn comes plain, the “OG” way with mayo, cotija, and butter, or fully loaded with Hot Cheetos crumbles and Tajín. Dessert consists of churro donuts with caramel sauce.

Weaver opened his first franchise, a Subway, in 1988, and says the pandemic was hard on his concept, The Catch. Once something resonates with the public, like recent hot chicken and Hawaiian barbecue trends, for example, it’s easy for markets to get oversaturated, he says.

But, “think about your favorite Mexican restaurant, and the chips and salsa that you eat,” he posits. “Whether you ate there yesterday or last week, and somebody said, ‘Hey, let’s go there today.’ You still can always go. For whatever reason, this food resonates.” Since Roll-Em-Up makes its own chips, salsa, guacamole and taquitos, he hopes it will attract repeat, Tex-Mex-loving customers.

The friends plan to open the first ten corporate Roll-Em-Up locations by June 2023. Their first Roll-Em-Up opened in Garland on Sept. 22, 2022.

A Coit and Campbell location is up next, which is projected to open by January 2023. A drive-through location is planned to open in Hurst by next March.

Meanwhile, the team is looking for other entrepreneurs interested in franchising with Roll-Em-Up Taquitos, with a $200,000 to $500,000 investment.

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