What, exactly, is Tex Mex and where did it come from? How is it different from traditional Mexican food? How did Tex Mex become such a part of the American culinary scene? What does any of this have to do with Überrito Fresh Mex Mexican Restaurants? The answers to these questions are crucial to understanding the “Tex Mex Effect” and why Tex Mex franchises are the way to go when it comes to owning a Mexican restaurant in America.
Tex Mex, as we know it today, could be considered North America’s original fusion food. When the Spanish invaded Mexico in the early 1500s, they brought with them their culture including religion, economics, and of course, their cuisine. As the Spanish settlers integrated with the Native Mexicans, a new culture of “Tejanos” began to emerge in the Texas region.
By 1821, when Mexico gained independence from Spain, this new culture gave rise to new “native” cuisines that blended recipes and ingredients introduced by the Spanish with the traditional dishes of the Native Mexicans. These cuisines evolved even more when Texas separated from Mexico in 1836 and joined the United States a decade later. A bounty of new ingredients such as cheddar cheese and beef were suddenly available and added to many traditional Mexican cuisine recipes.
Much of what is considered Mexican food in the United States is actually Tex Mex, chiefly because of the ingredients in the recipe. For instance, authentic Mexican food recipes will use pinto beans instead of black beans and white cheese instead of cheddar cheese.
The meat and spices found in Mexican dishes also help differentiate them from Tex Mex. Beef is not typically used in authentic Mexican cuisine, but rather pork and chicken are preferred. Onion, cilantro, and chile peppers are some of the other ingredients typically found in freshly prepared Mexican food. Cumin, on the other hand, is a common ingredient found in many Tex Mex recipes, but it’s typically not used in Mexican traditional dishes.
Some uniquely Tex Mex foods that are often thought of as Mexican, but aren’t, are
· Chile con carne
· Fish Tacos
There are a multitude of reasons why Tex Mex food has become so popular in America which all contribute to the Tex Mex effect and are drivers behind the Überrito Fresh Mex franchise experience. In addition to there being more than 10 million Mexican immigrants in the U.S. who naturally lean towards consuming foods of Mexican origin, there are several other factors that have made Mexican food part of the American culinary culture.
· Diners want the freshest ingredients and healthy options including vegetables, alternative proteins, and grains.
· Consumers everywhere want rich, delicious flavors originating from unique sauces and spices.
· Fast casual Mexican is an affordable food choice because you get a lot for the money.
· There’s something for everyone’s taste buds owing to a huge variety of food options.
· Dishes can be customized and built to order, meeting specific dietary desires and needs.
A big driver behind the popularity of Mexican style cuisine can be found in the dining habits of Gen-Z and Millennials. Among these diners, 75% to 82% prefer Mexican foods over Italian or Chinese. One of the primary reasons underlying this desire is that members of these two groups are more on the go and like to sit down to dine less than their predecessors.
The growing demand for convenience food and increased migration of young people from rural to urban areas is also driving the demand for Mexican restaurant franchises. Specifically for Millennials and Gen-Zers, fast casual Tex Mex foods tend to fit into their on-the-move lifestyle better than other food choices, and they prefer the variety and customization options typical with Tex Mex restaurants.
· Adults aged 25 to 44 make up 43% of food truck spending.
· Four of the top 10 restaurant chains preferred by millennials are Tex Mex.
· Gen Z has an even greater craving for Tex Mex foods than Millennials.
· Millennials and Gen Z account for over 42% of the U.S. population.
There are so many factors contributing to the rising popularity of Tex Mex food in the United States, especially among Millennials and Gen Z. This makes owning a Tex Mex franchise the only way to go if you’re considering opening a Mexican restaurant. The Überrito Fresh Mex fast casual franchise business model is built upon many of the same factors that make Tex Mex food so unique and popular.
· We’re authentic, unique, and steeped in tradition.
· We have created a menu full of variety for easy build-your-own meals.
· We offer on-the-go options with our food trucks (a $1.48 billion industry).
· We’re as passionate about our community as we are about good Mexican fare.
· We’re a great place for hungry college kids to meet or for the family to gather after the big game.
· We speak fluent burrito!
The flexibility of the typical Tex Mex menu, and the ability to incorporate healthy, fresh ingredients in a growing variety of food choices means that the Tex Mex effect is not going away anytime soon. In fact, the global Mexican food market size is expected to increase by $113.85 billion by 2026. That’s a lot of tacos and burritos!
If you’re considering opening a Mexican restaurant, then an Überrito Fresh Mex Tex Mex franchise is definitely the way to go. To get a conversation started about becoming one of our franchise owners, fill out the inquiry form on our website, or call us at 832-300-5846.