Cafe Rio Mexican Grill is a limited-service chain featuring recipes inspired by the traditional cooking of Mexico’s Rio Grande region, southern Texas and New Mexico. The food is fresh and flavorful, and every tortilla is made from scratch and hand rolled. All sauces, salad dressings, salsas and guacamole are also prepared fresh daily. The company operates freestanding units that range from 1,500 to 3,000 square feet with seating for approximately 70. Customers order at a large counter and can watch their food being prepared in what the chain calls an “open Mexican marketplace kitchen” as they make their way through the line. Guests have the option of ordering online and/or taking their food to go; catering is also provided. Steve and Tricia Stanley opened the first Cafe Rio in 1997 in St. George, Utah. In late 2004, Bob Kaufman, with SKM/Apax Partners, purchased the six-unit chain. The first outlet outside of Utah opened in 2006 in Gilbert, Arizona, and was followed by an outlet in Las Vegas.

LocationSalt Lake City, Utah
2009 Systemwide Sales$31,000,000*
% Change in Sales24.0%
2009 U.S. Units27
% Change in Units28.6%
2009 Average Unit Volume$1,300,000*
% Change in AUV0.0%
Future 50 Year2010