General Mills plans to use its first Old El Paso shopping centre restaurant as a ‘test bed’ for new products.
The cantina-style eatery, which opened earlier this year in the Intu Shopping Centre in Uxbridge, West London, serves Old El Paso meals based on its fajitas, burritos and nachos retail lines. The company already operates under the Old El Paso fascia in five of the UK’s largest theme parks, has three branded outlets in universities, two mobile trucks that serve at music festivals, and a presence in more than 50 bowling alleys.
“With interest in Mexican food continuing to increase, it was a natural extension to take our restaurant concept into the high street,” said Old El Paso brand manager Rachael Clutton. “Our new cantina is a great opportunity to keep abreast of what people want from the Mexican food category… our foodservice presence is a great advert for our retail brand, with our restaurants and trucks serving 726,000 consumers in the last 12 months alone.
General Mills - which also owns Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Jus-Rol and Green Giant - could not confirm whether Old El Paso had any future plans to open any further high street restaurants.