Saturday, November 23, 2019

[UPDATE] Del Taco to Open in Tucker Soon, Buford Later

In early December, Del Taco will open its highly anticipated new location on LaVista Road in Tucker.  The restaurant, located in an outparcel of the Target at LaVista Road and Northlake Parkway, replaces a Pollo Tropical which closed late last year amidst the Florida based chain's complete withdrawal from the Atlanta market.  The Tucker site is among five former Pollo Tropical restaurants that Del Taco has taken over and converted in the metro Atlanta area. 
Another new Del Taco which also replaced a Pollo Tropical, opened this past Thursday in an outparcel of Lawrenceville Market at 825 Duluth Highway, just off 316, in Lawrenceville.  In Buford, a new Del Taco will open in place of a former Pollo Tropical at 3385 Buford Drive in an outparcel of Sam's Club, beside Krispy Kreme.  Del Taco previously opened new restaurants in converted Pollo Tropical locations in Gainesville and Hiram.  

The Tucker location is expected to open in the first week in December, potentially as soon as December 4, with the Buford location expected to follow "early next year," according to a Del Taco employee.  

For the uninitiated, Del Taco is almost a combination of Taco Bell and McDonald's with a menu that offers not only burritos, tacos, nachos and churros, but also burgers, fries salads and shakes, among other items.  In keeping with with both food trends and changes in customers tastes & preferences, Del Taco has also added plant-based Beyond Meat products to the menu, including the Beyond Taco and the Beyond 8 Layer Dip Burrito.  

Del Taco's five locations in former Pollo Tropical restaurants in are the most by any single operator in metro Atlanta.  Overall, however, Joella's Hot Chicken, a Louisville, Kentucky-based chain, has taken the most former Pollo Tropical restaurants nationally, including four in Georgia and three in Largo, Seminole, and Melbourne, Florida.  Joella's has opened three of its four planned locations with outposts in Cumberland, Kennesaw and Woodstock open, and one in Newnan opening soon. 

Lake Forest, California-based Del Taco currently operates twenty locations in Georgia.  In addition to those coming to Tucker and Buford, a third one is coming soon to 1714 Highway 138,  in an outparcel adjacent to Conyers Village shopping center in Conyers.  

Despite their growth, Del Taco has had some closures in the Atlanta market with units in East Cobb and Roswell closing after about three years and nine months, respectively.    

A consistent complaint from ToNeTo Atlanta readers about the Roswell Del Taco was that under-staffing and poorly trained employees led to disappointing experiences.  Hopefully, as they continue to expand locally, Del Taco will take note of [and correct] the seemingly chronic issues that likely contributed to the Roswell restaurant's closure.    

Are you excited for the continued local expansion of Del Taco?  Do you think Del Taco can fix their service and training issues or are there just not enough good people for all the fast food restaurants?  What is your favorite menu item at Del Taco?  

Please share your thoughts below.  

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