The burrito chain is looking “quite aggressively” for new locations, according to Tortilla managing director Richard Morris.
Speaking at MCA’s Food to Go Conference, Morris said there was an opportunity from a commercial standpoint, and that landlords were keen to work with the fast-casual brand.
“We want to take advantage of the opportunities that will, sadly in some ways, present themselves.
“We will be very tough on our site credentials in terms of making sure they are absolutely the right locations. There are places available and we are looking at quite a few, so that’s encouraging.”
Dark kitchens part of the future
Morris said Tortilla had opened four delivery-only kitchens since the lockdown which had been “tremendously successful”.
Dark kitchens were “a great business model” with “low CapEx and pretty good returns”, he said and that Tortilla would continue to look for delivery-only kitchens.
“There’s a lot of operators out there with space for restaurants and businesses like ours so there’s lots of opportunity in that area.”
However, Morris said that the business was under no illusions that its dark kitchens would perform at the same level post lockdown. “Clearly that won’t happen.”
Tortilla has further spied opportunities for kiosks, and Morris said it planned to test that at Canary Wharf, in London’s Docklands, in the next couple of months. “We are really having a look at all these various options and then we’ll then decide which are the best ones going forward.”
Despite a further push in delivery-only operations, Morris added that Tortilla’s main focus would continue to be on bricks and mortar sites in high streets, travel hubs, shopping centres, student locations and office parks.