September 1, 2021
Franchisee Q&A: Justin Riley
• Fajita Pete’s – Denver franchisee
• Founder of Young People in Recovery
What’s your mindset as an entrepreneur?
I have a “Why not” mentality. If not me, who? If not now, when? And it’s not going to magically happen. If I want this to happen, I’m going to have to grind it out.
For me, entrepreneurship means betting on myself.
What were you looking for in a franchise?
In order for me to achieve my goals, I have to be a part of a business that even has an opportunity to hit high watermarks. So out of all the ways that I can spend my time and energy, I have to be very discerning about what opportunities I choose to be a part of.
For me, it’s a no-brainer to be a part of Fajita Pete’s—a proven business concept, work with people that know what they are doing, and have a very clear path to profitability. Those are non-negotiable.
A proven model, a phenomenal leadership team and a clear path to profitability—it’s made it a no-brainer for me.
Tell me about the food.
I flew to Texas—just to eat Fajita Pete’s. I fell in love.
I like eating good food. So when I can eat food that is good and fresh, that’s a win-win.
What’s your favorite food item?
I could eat an entire bucket of the peppers.
What makes the food different?
Well, it’s made to order, so it’s fresh. But if you have one conversation with Pete, you’ll find he is in love with the craft of being a chef. He can pull out the nuances of why this salsa is better than the last salsa or the one before that. For years, Pete’s passion for the food has been so evident, and that’s expressed through the quality of the food and service and culture.
Why Fajita Pete’s?
With takeout, delivery and catering—it’s really simple. It’s not easy, but it’s a simple business model.
We want to be in the conversation. When people ask “What’s for dinner?” the answer will be pizza, chinese, or fajitas. It’s clear. It’s not complicated.
For someone who’s never been in the restaurant business, the simpler the model, the more scalable it is.
What was the franchising process like for you?
For me, it honestly was a God deal. There’s a long story there, but I was very fortunate to have business partners with the same core values as me. I’m very grateful that I get to do that.
Becoming a part of Fajita Pete’s from A to Z as an interested owner/operator is super simple. The franchising team has a professional and comprehensive approach. They have franchising experts all along the way and it made the process super easy—and you get to eat fajitas every step of the way. It was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done.
What’s it like working with the Fajita Pete’s team?
Our group wanted fajitas in Colorado. We texted Pete and he said “Okay, cool” and sent us massive boxes of Fajita Pete’s—and that’s just how he treats everyone. Any time you call Pete or Joey, they respond immediately.
Their culture is, “How can we help you win?”
They want the world to experience fresh fajitas. That’s Pete’s ministry… And all I can say is “Amen, brother.”
Rachel, my wife, and my kids are very grateful to be part of the Fajita Pete’s family. I think it’s important to honor people who allow you to be a part of great things. Thank you.
What’s your goal with Fajita Pete’s?
Right now I am focused on crushing the first five, and then the next five, and then ten. If you’re going to do something, you have to do it to the best of your ability.
Down the road, I’d like a small fajita empire.
What would you tell someone who is considering a Fajita Pete’s franchise?
Honestly? Dude, be prepared to work hard. The business is proven, but you still have to grind it out. Business ownership is not a quick or easy path to success. For every business on the planet, there will be twists and turns. Just get ready and work hard. If you want to be an owner and have that responsibility, you have to commit to being successful.