The rise and rise of ‘Mad Mex’

5:43 PM Friday August 25, 2017 Colin Taylor

The Mexican food brand ‘Mad Mex’ is expanding throughout New Zealand

Perhaps it’s the global popularity of Western movies, portraying cowboys tucking into meals of corn, beans, avocados, tomatoes, and chili peppers. Perhaps it’s the migrations of Mexican people, carrying the taste for delicious tacos, tortillas, enchiladas and other treats, into every part of North America.

Whatever the reason, during the 20th century an insatiable demand for Mexican food has spread across the globe.

Aware of this, in 2007 entrepreneur Clovis Young created the Mad Mex brand to provide Australians with Mexican cuisine that is fresh, fast, full of flavour and just a bit funky.

The brand’s quick service restaurants quickly became an Aussie sensation, with customers queuing, landlords clamouring and competitors coveting their runaway success.

This rate of growth was not lost on Kiwi James Tucker, who in 2012 noted the popularity and explosive growth of the restaurants.

After research trips, and considering establishing a brand from scratch, Tucker realised the answer was to join forces with the market leader. In March 2013, he opened New Zealand’s first Mad Mex in Lambton Square, Wellington and, as of June this year Mad Mex also has stores in Fort St, Auckland CBD; The Base, Hamilton; Westfield Manukau, Sylvia Park, Botany, Ponsonby, Westfield Albany and Westfield West City.

New joint venture stores in Willis St, Wellington, and in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter are to open before the end of 2017.

The first franchised Mad Mex restaurant, in New Plymouth, is also due to open this year. “James is now on the lookout for additional joint venture and franchise partners to run restaurants across the country,” says LINK Business broker Rafiq Bhamani.

“Mad Mex is enlisting passionate and committed joint venture (JV) partners to grow its business nationwide. The brand wants to attract folk who share the commitment to build upon increased demand for high-quality food at reasonable prices. Those who sign on receive excellent training and support, but must have drive to succeed and a passion to provide quality service.

“The offer comprises a good existing lease; a dynamic brand with big growth plans; an outstanding location and a proven business model. Joint venture partnerships make for a particularly positive customer experience and the best product. Owner-operators bring a passion to the business and make the quality of the product their Number One focus. However, franchises are also available.”

He says JV partners must be hands-on, full time managers of the business.

“A new company will be formed that Mad Mex owns a minimum of 50 per cent of, with the JV partner owning up to 50 per cent. Each party will put up their percentage of the funds required to build and open the store.”