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Danny Meyer Invests In Expanding Taco Chain With Eyes On Taco Bell, Chipotle

Tacombi has 13 locations in the U.S.

Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer is throwing his support behind popular Mexican chain Tacombi, taking the lead investor role in the restaurant’s first round of institutional funding.

Tacombi announced this week it has raised $27.5M, with the company Meyer co-founded, Enlightened Hospitality Investments, leading the round, Bloomberg reports. Mexico’s Rodina and Capital Mazapi, as well as the founder of yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm, Gary Hirshberg, were also investors.

“Look at the national scope of other Mexican-inflected places, obviously the biggest, broadest, earliest is Taco Bell,” Meyer told Bloomberg. “Chipotle has had enormous success.”

He said he admired Tacombi's founder, Dario Wolos, and the idea — and expects there is an opportunity for the restaurant to expand nationwide. He said the appeal of Tacombi was that it has a high level of flavor and hospitality, but isn’t expensive. Right now, Tacombi has 13 locations in New York City, Miami and Washington, D.C., that are projected to bring in a projected $50M in revenue next year.

There are at least five more in the current cities to open next year, and 12 planned for the following year. In 2023, Tacombi expects to open in Boston, Chicago, New Jersey and Long Island. Wolos started the restaurant in Mexico, and it opened its first location in Manhattan's Nolita neighborhood in 2010.

This new funding will go toward a revamp of Tacombi’s ordering technology and expanding the firm's packaged goods line, Vista Hermosa, Eater reports. Tacombi is also looking at selling frozen burritos in certain regions next year.

Last month, Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group formed a partnership with Panera Bread to back its initial public offering.