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Garces Group, Ballad Manufacturers, Ideation Hospitality make Buena Onda winner | Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit

In a keynote handle on the Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit, three restaurant execs focus on launching Buena Onda, which now has 5 places. Seven extra places have been offered.

Garces Group, Ballad Brands, Ideation Hospitality make Buena Onda winnerJose Garces, Scott Campanella and David Mesa focus on the founding of Mexican model Buena Onda. Photograph by Networld Media Group.

| by Mandy Wolf Detwiler — Managing Editor, Networld Media Group

Strategic partnerships between restaurant manufacturers and hospitality teams can lead to success. That is the thought course of behind the keynote handle on the Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit in Coral Gables, Florida.

The three-day RFIS occasion, being held this week and hosted by Networld Media Group, supplies a discussion board for executives from main manufacturers to share success tales and the way they’re innovating to develop franchises. Networld Media Group’s subsequent trade occasion is #QSRNext, a half-day digital occasion catering particularly to quick meals manufacturers. Designed with busy schedules in thoughts, the 30-minute, back-to-back periods will function execs within the trenches, who will provide highly effective insights on know-how deployments, labor points, franchising, menu improvement and extra.

How a brand new model happened

The keynote panel discuss, sponsored by Schoox, included Scott Campanella, COO of Ideation Hospitality, celeb chef Jose Garces, who’s founder and chief culinary officer for the Garces Group and David Mesa, EVP and chief improvement officer for Ballard Manufacturers. Collectively, the three have efficiently launched the Buena Onda informal Mexican model.

Garces spoke about what it takes to construct and develop a model. With a number of different ideas below his belt, Buena Onda appears destined for fulfillment. Garces and his staff conceived the concept, Campanella’s group added skilled administration and Mesa’s group heads franchising with Ballard Manufacturers.

“Coming from the world of fantastic eating, what was it that made you suppose ‘I ought to do a quick informal?'” Mesa requested Garces.

“There’s so many shifting elements within the upscale informal eating sector,” Garces stated, “and I at all times knew that I may create an expertise that was someplace in between fast serve and upscale informal, actually using completely different strategies, actually nice merchandise that have been obtainable to me within the fantastic eating area or upscale informal area, so actually taking that data and making use of it to Buena Onda.”

Garces has been cooking Mexican meals since 2003. Wanting on the market, there was a distinct segment that wasn’t stuffed, and Buena Onda may step in and fill it, and the idea can be scalable.

“I’ve at all times prided myself on bringing authenticity and custom to the larger market,” Garces stated, together with some daring taste profiles just like the chipotle hen, carnitas and extra with distinctive flavors. Garces has confidence in his skill to market uncommon taste profiles.

At an inexpensive worth level, clients are in a position to dabble in differing flavors than they normally would possibly. Garces took into consideration execution, scalability and pace whereas nonetheless providing company that possibility to decide on and have a extra distinctive expertise.

Wanting on the proper sq. footage and design of the kitchen for scalability, interested by the vibe and the power, Garces launched the model and it took off early regardless of having a B- or C+ location, he admitted. With contemporary flavors and packaging, pace of execution and high quality for the value level, it appeared to resonate with company.

Garces stated the idea was 10 years within the making because it discovered its area of interest between ideas like Qdoba and costlier fantastic eating institutions. Thus, the partnership with Ideation helped the idea taken off.

Hospitality at its best

Ideation Hospitality had many conversations with Buena Onda about easy methods to convey the idea to the market. It was a traditional, wholesome dialogue, and it leaned closely on know-how to hurry the method up.

“I believe we obtained fortunate,” Campanella stated. “Jose had had plenty of merchandise that have been being construct day-after-day for all kinds of eating places.”

Consequently, there was an infrastructure already constructed with a commissary idea. One commissary serves 5 Buena Onda places.

Buena Onda was already effectively arrange for carryout simply because the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Garces’ eating places did about 80% dine in and 20% carryout earlier than the pandemic; simply earlier than COVID, these numbers had shifted to 65% dine in and 35% carryout. Throughout the pandemic, 100% of enterprise was carryout and supply.

With a commissary backing up the model, Buena Onda was already innovating and staying forward of the curve. They have been in a position to construct 5 places comparatively simply.

“For me it is about innovating and staying forward of the developments,” Garces stated.


In fact, there have been bumps alongside the way in which. Garces spoke of a restaurant on the King of Prussia Mall that was a second-generation spot. It was in the midst of a strip and anchored by a Shake Shack on a nook that took all of the visitors. “Location, location, location nonetheless holds true,” Garces stated.

COVID additionally triggered the companions to pause and rethink their operations.

“Thankfully for us, Scott (Campanella) got here with sufficient foresight to say ‘Hey we have got this commissary kitchen already. Why cannot we replicate it that method?'” Mesa requested.

The long-braised gadgets that require probably the most cooking ability and take probably the most time to marinate are made within the commissary, permitting the companions to deal with the 5 eating places that have been in-built 10 months.

Campanella admits he is not a “franchise man,” as his space of experience lies in activating area with meals. Ballad Manufacturers supplies the “greatest practices” for Buena Onda.

Franchising for the model launched April of 2022. Within the first 12 months, offers have been inked for 2 non-traditional places and 5 conventional licenses.

With one commissary kitchen, how do they scale? They’ve partnered with a nationwide commissary chain known as Corvis who was in a position to take the important thing parts Garces referred to and replicating them inside their community for future development. That features 50 commissary kitchens they’re in a position to develop into to make Buena Onda a nationwide model.

“There was quite a bit nice alternative that excited us about with the ability to take this idea and rising it throughout the nation,” Mesa stated.

Mandy Wolf Detwiler is the managing editor at Networld Media Group and the positioning editor for and She has greater than 20 years’ expertise protecting meals, individuals and locations.
An award-winning print journalist, Mandy brings greater than 20 years’ expertise to Networld Media Group. She has spent almost 20 years protecting the pizza trade, from impartial pizzerias to multi-unit chains and each dimension enterprise in between. Mandy has been featured on the Meals Community and has received quite a few awards for her protection of the restaurant trade. She has an insatiable urge for food for studying, and may let you know the place to search out the perfect slices within the nation after spending 15 years touring and consuming pizza for a dwelling. 


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