News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Love of franchise drives father, son to start their own
Nov 15, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer
Even before he and his father built their Taco Time franchise in Riverton, Bryan Cross said he was a fan of the restaurant.
He first developed a taste for Taco Time's crisp burritos when he worked for the business in high school. He left Wyoming after graduation to pursue a career in music, but Cross said he still stopped at his favorite eatery whenever possible.
"I'll pull our tour buses over," Cross said, describing his days of traveling with artists like The Pussycat Dolls, Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears.
"They love it," Cross said. "One time we had all the girls from Pussycat Dolls behind the counter. They got to make their own order."
He always grabbed Taco Time when he came home to Riverton too, but Cross said the old franchise eventually closed.
"I missed it," he said. "I had to drive to Rock Springs or Casper for a crisp burrito."
Now, he said, Taco Time enthusiasts can travel to Riverton to feed their cravings. Cross teamed up with his father, Larry Cross, to start the local business, which has benefited from its presence on global positioning system maps.
"(Customers are) finding this something very interesting on the GPS," Larry said.
People often come from Worland, Cody, Dubois and Thermopolis for a Taco Time meal, and Larry said Lander residents will drive over regularly for lunch.
"More and more of the state is becoming aware of our operation," he said.
Social media has helped too. Larry said people already knew Riverton's Taco Time was opening before the first official day of business Feb. 12.
"They just couldn't wait," Larry said. "The overwhelming response ... was just unreal."
Bryan said it was one of the biggest openings in Taco Time history, and he thanked the community for its support. He said he has enjoyed running the business with his dad, who has a management background that complements Bryan's experience in the music industry.
"I think it's a good relationship," Larry said. "We respect (each other) and talk about things before we make decisions."
The organization is evident when considering the service customers get at Taco Time, Larry said, describing everything from the food to the cleanliness to the speed of delivery.
"We really want guests to experience a fresh, friendly, clean atmosphere and a good, quality product made quickly and efficiently," Larry said. "That way they leave with a good dining experience, and they want to come back."
They usually employ 15 to 20 people at the restaurant, and Larry said they are always looking for "aggressive individuals looking to get ahead."
Bryan said his longterm plan includes expansion throughout the state.
"(Taco Time) is represented in the south very well, but the north is kind of lacking in territory," Bryan said. "We're looking to expand to Casper, Cody, Jackson and Lander to cover the north half of the state, then grow the brand so wherever you go you don't have to drive 100 miles for a crisp burrito."