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Team Up with Iron Chef Jose Garces for Buena Onda Franchise

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Iron Chef Jose Garces announces franchise opportunities for baja-inspired taqueria, Buena Onda.

James Beard Award winner and Iron Chef Jose Garces is expanding Buena Onda from Philadelphia to cities across America. Franchise opportunities are now available in 33 states. You are invited to experience culinary excellence coupled with a proven business model that customers crave and love.

Renowned Latin-American chef Jose Garces translates his rich cultural traditions and culinary vision into personal dining experiences.  Taking a heartfelt and creative approach to time-honored recipes and dishes, Buena Onda brings these recipes together for a unique taqueria experience.

With one brick-and-mortar and up to four more on the way, Chef Jose Garces is ready to spread good vibes through this major national expansion. Chef will team up with Ballard Brands, who are franchise veterans that own award-winning brands PJ’s Coffee, WOW American Eats and New Orleans Roast. Buena Onda franchise opportunities are now available and designed to deliver a unique experience to diners in the fast casual market with the delicious chef-inspired menu and popular Baja style libations.

Interested partners and investors are invited to meet Chef Jose Garces in person and experience his food and vision at monthly franchise seminars that will kick-off in Philadelphia on Thursday, June 16th and Thursday, July 21st at The Olde Bar. For more information and to register for the seminar, visit

“From Philadelphia to America, I am thrilled to expand my baja-taqueria Buena Onda nationally through an exciting new franchise program,” said Chef Jose Garces. “It is exciting to bring my recipes and vision to fans and foodies across the country. We just finished going through the franchising regulation work and we are now a national brand that I am proud to put my name on. I am excited about Buena’s possibilities and where this journey will take us next. The pandemic stepped in and took the wind out of our sails, but we reset ourselves, kept moving forward and we hope to announce our first franchise locations by the end of summer.”

“In all my years of franchising, I have never been more excited about the launch of a new concept as I am today with Chef Jose Garces and Buena Onda,” said Ballard Brands Chief Development Officer David Q. Mesa Jr., CFE. “What’s exciting about this concept is the merging of Chef Jose’s culinary expertise along with our proven franchise systems that allow it to be delivered at a high level in a very simplistic manner creating the opportunity for franchisees, regardless of food experience, to explore their dreams of being in hospitality.”

The national launch of Buena Onda is a story that is years – and tens of thousands of tacos – in the making. Buena Onda’s roots date back to 2015, when Garces launched his first-ever fast casual restaurant in Philadelphia, PA. At the time, Buena Onda represented the 19th concept for the growing Garces collection of restaurants. The menu was designed to be Chef’s ode to fish tacos and chill vibes, with inspiration taken from Baja peninsula’s culture, seafood shacks, and taquerías.

Potential franchise investors are invited to spread good vibes and share in Chef’s vision.  In a world of fast casual options, Buena Onda will offer a unique, casual baja taqueria experience to guests with an appealing menu, great service, and a laid-back, beach-bum decor.  The model is appealing across multiple day parts with something for the entire family. In Chef’s vision, great food and great times leads to good vibes.

In preparation for the national launch, Garces and Ballard Brands, through IdEATtion Hospitality, have laid the groundwork for the expansion by designing a new look and feel for Buena Onda. The new design, updated menu and new operating standards will debut when Buena Onda grand opens Buena Onda in Rittenhouse Square and Buena Onda in Radnor, PA this July. At the same time, Buena Onda will see its flagship location in Fairmount neighborhood get an upgrade to match what will be the look and feel of all future locations.

Longtime fans of Buena Onda can expect a stronger nod to the beachside surf shacks that the brand is inspired by, including dune fencing and a authentic “boardwalk” feel as guests queue to order; a lighter, whitewash wood feeling and nods to an “Endless Summer’ vibe throughout the interiors; the iconic menu board featuring fish tacos,  fresh house made guacamole and Salsa Mexicana, quesadillas, churros, and more will hold a prominent place; as well as the addition of a variety of grab and go items like freshly made salsa, salads, and aqua frescas with seasonal flavors.

With the approval of the franchise launch, Chef and Ballard Brands invite investors and future franchise owners to meet Chef Jose Garces in person at franchise seminars every third Thursday of the month in June, July, August and September.

As Garces and Ballard prepare for their first in-person franchise seminar, they have received a letter of intent from their first investor in the tri-state mid-Atlantic region. Stay tuned to hear more about where Buena Onda will open next!

In the meantime, stay tuned for grand opening information for the new Buena Onda coming to 200 Radnor Chester Road (Radnor, PA) in July.

Share the good vibes on social media with hashtag #GarcesGoodVibes and by following Buena Onda at @BuenaOndoTacos, Chef Jose Garces at @ChefJoseGarces and Garces Group at @GarcesGroup. For more information and to place an order, visit

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