Ballard Brands, The Garces Restaurant Group Buena Onda franchise

Ballard Brands, which owns PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans and WOW American Eats, has partnered with The Garces Restaurant Group to develop Buena Onda, a taqueria created by chef Jose Garces.

By spring, the fast-paced causal restaurant will be open on Main Line in Radnor, Pa., as well as the Rittenhouse neighborhood in Philadelphia, and more are on the way, according to a company press release. The plan also includes a brand refresh at the original Buena Onda in Fairmount, Philadelphia.

“Our team has worked hard to develop a national expansion strategy in partnership with Ballard Brands since the start of the pandemic,” Garces said in the release. “It’s been great working with my partners at Ballard Brands to bring Buena Onda and other concepts to new places and to reach new audiences.”

Each location will feature signature Buena Onda dishes, such as eco-friendly seafood tacos, classic tacos, Buena bowls, nachos, guacamole, fries and salsa, rice and beans and churros. Customers can also order margaritas, beer, wine, sangria, and sodas.

how it started
The partnership with Ballard Brands and Garces dates back to 2018, when Ballard and Garces established IdEAtion Hospitality, where Garces now serves as Culinary Director.

“Since Jose’s partnership with Ballard Brands began in 2018, we have been working on a national expansion strategy that capitalizes on both of our strengths,” said Scott Campanella, COO of IdEATion Hospitality. “This strategy is being realized as we combine Ballard Brands’ experience in the QSR market with Jose’s culinary expertise and uncompromising dedication to hospitality. We are excited about the next leg of this journey.”

Buena Onda customers can expect a stronger nod to the beachfront surf shacks the brand draws inspiration from, including dune fences and an authentic boardwalk feel. They’ll also notice lighter whitewashed wood and nods to an “Endless Summer” vibe throughout the interiors. Additionally, upcoming locations will offer alcoholic beverages, but without the formal bar inside the dining area. Beverage programs will emphasize cans and bottles, including Buena Onda-brand canned margaritas in a variety of flavors such as classic, strawberry, prickly pear, and more, according to the release.

In an effort to enhance the customer and delivery driver experience, each location will incorporate design elements that provide functional storage, as well as a defined area for pickups for delivery hubs and for customers. to take away.

“The current take-out culture mixed with the continued work-from-home environment has made this the perfect time to expand and bring Buena Onda to the mainline,” Garces said. “Radnor’s location appealed to us for the superior quality of nearby restaurants, and I’m thrilled to introduce Buena Onda to this vibrant market. Inspired by the surf towns along the Mexican coast, this quick-service restaurant offers a menu heavily focused on seafood.”

IdEATtion Hospitality works on a Buena Onda franchise model. Ballard Brands will manage the model.

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