How’d Tijuana Flats become Tijuana Flats? Funny story, really. Back in ‘95, this college kid, Brian Wheeler, walked into a bar. Actually, a bunch of bars. (And restaurants, too.) At first, it was just harmless fun. But over time, the good times got the best of him and just going out no longer cut it. So Brian decided to open his own restaurant despite having never worked in one before (brilliant, right?). Only problem was, Brian was broke. Luckily, his parents weren’t. And after much begging and pleading, his dad loaned him $20,000 & Brian opened the first Tijuana Flats in Winter Park, Florida.
In ‘99, Brian’s success caught the eye of former restaurant industry hotshot Camp Fitch, who left retirement to become partner & chairman of Tijuana Flats. And Camp wasn’t the only one. Remember the dad who reluctantly loaned his son $20K? Yup, Chester Wheeler left a 30-year career at a Fortune 500 company to become CFO of Tijuana Flats. Since then, Tijuana Flats has grown to more than 135 restaurants in six very lucky states.
All kidding aside (and we kid around a lot), we’re a people company deep down, which is why we take our Core Values seriously. They begin with Respect, which is at the center of everything we do.