Baja Fresh

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Baja Fresh
Industry Restaurant
Founded Newbury Park, California(1990 (1990))
Headquarters Irvine, California, USA
Number of locations
Area served
29 US States, Singapore, and Dubai
Key people
Jim and Linda Magglos, founders
Products Mexican style fast food made with fresh ingredients

Baja Fresh is a chain of fast-casual Tex Mex restaurants founded in Newbury Park, California in 1990 and headquartered in Irvine, California.[1] The chain emphasizes fresh ingredients, and each restaurant features a self-serve salsa bar.

The chain operates 256 restaurants in 29 states.[2] Internationally, two stores were opened in Dubai in 2010, including Dubai Mall and Deira City Centre,[2] and a single store opened in Singapore in 2012[3]

Competitors include California Tortilla, Panchero's Mexican Grill, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Moe's Southwest Grill, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill, Tijuana Flats.


Baja Fresh restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

In 1990, Jim and Linda Magglos took out a third mortgage on their home[4] and opened the first Baja Fresh in Newbury Park, California in the Conejo Valley. Franchising began in 1995,[4] and the chain had expanded to 31 outlets by 1997.[5] In 1998, the Magglos worked with Greg Dollarhyde and Pete Siracusa, who recapitalized the parent company, acquired venture capital and bought shares from outside holders to take control of Baja Fresh.[4] Dollarhyde became CEO with Siracusa as Chairman and Magglos as President, they then grew the chain from 45 locations in 1998 to 249 stores.[6]

In 2002, Wendy's International purchased Baja Fresh for $275 million.[7] As a wholly owned subsidiary of Wendy's, the 249 restaurant chain[8] saw consistently declining same store sales.[8] In 2006, Wendy's sold the roughly 300-location Baja Fresh chain for $31 million to a private investor consortium that operates other restaurants, including Sweet Factory, La Salsa, Cinnabon and Denny's.[9] The consortium is led by David Kim, who took on the role of CEO (Appearing on Season 2 Episode 20 Undercover Boss) of the company.[8]

In 2009, Baja Fresh moved its corporate headquarters from Thousand Oaks to Cypress,[5] California, and closed all locations in central Ohio.[10] Between 2009 and 2010, the chain closed stores in Berkeley, Pasadena and Torrance, California. In late 2011, the company moved its main corporate office from Cypress to Irvine. In early 2012, the chain closed its store in Newbury Park, California, site of the first Baja Fresh.[11] On April 12, 2013 Baja Fresh closed all 5 locations in Phoenix, Arizona without notice.[12] On April 5, 2012, David Kim stepped down from his position as company CEO. His position is resumed by company president Chuck Rink, who now holds both titles.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Contact Us". Baja Fresh. Retrieved February 25, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Quick-Causal Fresh Mexican Chain to Open in Dubai's World Famous Burj Khalifa". January 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Baja Fresh opens in Singapore". Fast Casual. March 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Axelson, Barb (November 1, 2001). "Hurry Up & Relax Fast Casual is Booming". Restaurant Hospitality. 
  5. ^ a b "Baja Fresh company leaves Thousand Oaks: Corporate operations are now in Orange County". Trading Markets. March 25, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Fresh Enterprises Inc. History". Funding Universe. 
  7. ^ "Wendy's diversifies with purchase of Baja Fresh". USA Today. May 31, 2002. 
  8. ^ a b c Jennings, Lisa (December 18, 2006). "Baja Fresh buyers look to inject new life into struggling chain" (PDF). Restaurant News – via QSR Consulting Group. 
  9. ^ "Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, Inc. :: News Release". Wendy’s/Arby’s Group (Press release). 2006-11-28. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  10. ^ Chronister, Bill (July 21, 2009). "Central Ohio bids adios to Baja Fresh locations". The Columbus Dispatch. 
  11. ^ "Baja Fresh Newbury Park Location Closed as of Tuesday, January 10th". Conejo Valley Guide. January 11, 2012. 
  12. ^ Gallen, Tim (April 12, 2013). "Baja Fresh closing all Phoenix-area locations". Phoenix Business Journal. 
  13. ^ "Chuck Rink Appointed Chief Executive Officer of Baja Fresh® Mexican Grill". Business Wire (Press release). April 5, 2012. 

External links[edit]