Roaring Fork Restaurant Group founded by Mike Pranke.
Ron Stokes was running his own recruiting company in Portland when he heard Roaring Fork was looking for a director of operations. At the time, Roaring Fork had 15 Qdoba locations.
Roaring Fork’s senior regional manager, who oversees eight stores, started as a cook in 2006. Finding franchise owners has been difficult, especially now, with the unemployment rate so low, Stokes said. People are often promoted from within the company.
Roaring Fork will open a new concept, fast-casual restaurant Grate Mac & Cheese, in Menomonee Falls on Aug. 29. The Grate restaurant will be corporately owned, with no plans at this point to franchise it out, Stokes said.
“If that goes well, we plan on growing the concept,” Stokes said.
Roaring Fork also plans new Qdoba locations in Mukwonago in the fall and Johnson Creek in mid-2018.
The franchisee fee
Qdoba franchisees invest $500,000 to $750,000 to start their business. By comparison, it costs a Chick-fil-A franchisee $10,000 when they sign their operator’s agreement.