A Louisville, Ky., Qdoba location was recently used by chef Ted Stoner to introduce the chain's new Mexican Lettuce Wraps. The location is owned by Don Doyle and Mike Grisanti, founders of ZT of Louisville LLC, and features new design elements.
Guests at the LTO launch event included franchise owner Don Doyle (pictured far right). Attendees listened to Stoner discuss techniques for creating lighter and healthier Mexican cuisine and were able to sample the new lettuce wraps.
Additionally, guests learned how to add a modern twist to traditional dishes from the Southwest U.S., as well as Northern, Central and Southern Mexico and the Baja and the Yucatan Peninsulas.
Franchise operators Don Doyle and Mike Grisanti own and operate 22 Qdoba locations in four states. Doyle is the former president of Rally's Hamburgers Inc. and Grisanti is the former president of KFC, as well as the owner Grisanti’s Italian restaurants.
New design elements were created by WD Partners and are part of the company’s larger brand evolution strategy. Other features include a pre-menu or “combi” board located at the beginning of the queue, new ceiling décor, and a display prep area.
Qdoba opened its first prototype restaurant in September 2009. As of June 2010, Qdoba has approximately 25-30 restaurants that feature elements of the newest design, which is currently available to all franchises.
The location also offers outside seating for guests. The brand evolution draws upon the restaurant’s roots as a kitchen showcasing regional Mexican cuisine in a fast casual format.
On September 13, the location held an event with head chef Ted Stoner to showcase the company’s new lettuce wrap LTO. Stoner had just returned from a trip to Mexico and showcased a variety of products from the country for event guests.
Placed at each table during the event was a sample of Qdoba menu items and ingredients. Items included Qdoba’s mango salsa, chips and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Stoner also displayed the lettuce that is used in the wraps. The lettuce, called Cosmopolitan, is a hybrid blend of iceberg and romaine varieties.