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Business opportunities can come from unlikely places. In the case of Bubbakoo’s Burritos, the founders met while working at another restaurant chain before they got the idea to team up and start their very own business.

You can read more about the business, how it got started and how it has grown below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers unique burrito options.

Paul Altero, co-founder of Bubbakoo’s Burritos, told Small Business Trends, “Bubbakoo’s Burritos offers the usual fast-casual burrito fare such as burritos, bowls, tacos, salad, nachos and quesadillas, but with 16 different protein options — including fried chicken, barbecue pork, Buffalo shrimp and grilled steak, as well as some more unusual flavors such as ghost pepper chicken and sriracha pork. Vegetarian options include a bean-cheese-guacamole combo and batter-fried jalapeños. Bubbakoo’s also features co-founders Altero and Bill Hart’s own invention: cheese-smothered, panko-crusted fried rice balls called The Chiwawa.”

Business Niche

A menu with variety.

Altero says, “Bubbakoo’s offers a unique menu, with items such as the crispy buffalo chicken, Hibachi steak, and The Chiwawa (cheese-smothered, panko-crusted fried rice balls), and the menu has over 100 burrito combinations available for the customer to customize and create.”

How the Business Got Started

After working together at another restaurant chain.

Founders Altero and Hart met while working for the Johnny Rockets chain of restaurants. When the company reorganized, they decided to start their own business. It took some time, with Hart even sleeping on Altero’s couch at the beginning. Then they opened up the first Bubbakoo’s Burritos in Point Pleasant, New Jersey in 2008 with a home equity loan on Altero’s house and some credit cards.

Biggest Win

The success of the first store.

Altero explains, “We opened doing about $300,000 and within a year we were on the way to $1 million. That helped perpetuate growth for future stores. People loved the product. We executed well. And it meant everything for the business. The funds helped grow more stores.”

Biggest Risk

Starting the business on a shoestring budget.

Altero says, “We could have lost everything. Luckily, we didn’t.”

Spotlight:Restaurant Franchise Success Story Bubbakoo's Burritos

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Building stores.

Altero explains, “Especially restaurants easy to convert as the build ends up around $100,000.”

Favorite Quote

“What gets measured gets done.”—Stephen Covey

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: Bubbakoo’s Burritos; Top Image: Paul Altero (left) and Bill Hart, Bubbakoo’s Burritos’ founders


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