TaKorean Eyes Franchise Expansion in Wilmington

The D.C.-based ‘Korean taco grill’ is hoping to capitalize on its success at home, by bringing its unique fusion of flavors to the wider mid-Atlantic region, beginning with Delaware’s most populous city.
TaKorean Eyes Franchise Expansion in Wilmington
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TaKorean, the 12-year-old Korean taco grill that began as a 1985 Ford step van-turned-food truck, is eyeing the Wilmington, Delaware market for its initial franchise expansion, according to 1851 Franchise, an industry media outlet.

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In an interview published last Thursday, Sep 8, TaKorean founder and CEO Mike Lenard explained, “Wilmington is right on the I-95 corridor, so it’s really easy to access for vendors, and it’s easy for us to get to provide support,” adding, “Locationally and population-wise, there are some pockets within the area where we could thrive.”

Incidentally, TaKorean was supposed to be opening a location in Philadelphia at The Bourse, but it seems that project is yet to materialize.

Lenard could not be immediately reached for comment.

TaKorean features a build-your-own taco, bowl, or slaw bowl model – a sort of Chipotle meets Bibibop concept – or as Lenard describes it, “a light spin on the Americanized street food take on Korean food,” that “[incorporates] a Latin-American twist.”

TaKorean currently operates two locations in the D.C. area, one in The Yards and another in Union Market. According to 1851 Franchise, the total investment to open a TaKorean franchise ranges from $186,500 to $757,500, depending on whether the franchisee wants to open a standalone restaurant or a food court outlet. 

In addition to Wilmington, TaKorean will also be looking at the New Jersey market for future expansion. 

Drew Pittock

Drew Pittock is a freelance writer from Los Angeles, CA. He’s covered music, culture, and plant-based cuisine for various media outlets from Beijing to Tallinn and beyond. He currently lives in El Paso, TX with his wife and their cat.
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