Owned by a brother and sister with the restaurant business in their blood, a new Chronic Tacos franchise is making a splash at the Palms Hotel & Casino.
BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD
Las Vegas residents Jonathan and Jennifer Lewis are a brother-and-sister entrepreneurial team. In October, the twins opened Chronic Tacos, which instantly became the only black-owned franchise restaurant in the Palms Hotel & Casino food court.
That the siblings seemed to inherit aspirations for enterprise is no real surprise. They are the offspring of renowned McDonald’s franchise owners Harold and Tina Lewis — who owned and operated 10 McDonald’s restaurants before their recent retirement.
“Growing up in our parents’ McDonald’s restaurant business for 29 years — part of the biggest franchise system in the world — prepared us for our recent venture as owner-operators of our own Chronic Tacos’ franchise,” said Jennifer. “Becoming franchise owners runs through our blood. Learning the ropes and following in our parents’ footsteps gave us the confidence to follow our dreams. We really don’t know anything different. But every franchise brand is different. Needless to say, it’s about the customer at the end of the day.”
Established more than a decade ago in Orange County, Calif., Chronic Tacos is a popular brand that targets millennials. “The Chronic Tacos’ brand is competitive and there is a difference,” said Jonathan. “A lot of people ask if we are like Chipotle. So I ask them, ‘When you go to Chipotle, do you think you are eating Mexican food?’ They say, ‘No, we think we are eating Chipotle.’ When you come to Chronic Tacos, you are eating authentic, fresh Mexican food made from generational recipes. I might add that we are the only restaurant within the Palms Hotel food court with a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.”
Specializing in a variety of Mexican favorites, Chronic Tacos takes great pride in offering healthier menu options. “Our meals are more health-conscious, and we wanted to be sure that our franchise brand was one that we believed in,” said Jennifer. “The Chronic Tacos brand is proud to celebrate fresh food. We specialize in freshly made everything. Our menu includes a wide variety of vegetarian options, our beans are all vegan and the corn is gluten free. There is an expansive selection to fit everyone’s appetite and dietary preference, and that includes burritos, Baja style fish tacos, shrimp and french fries.”
For quick pickup options, orders can be placed online at EatChronicTacos.com or by calling (702) 477-0414. The digital presence and memorable fare appears to be helping spread the word.
“We just catered a wedding for a party of 40 people visiting from Michigan,” said Jennifer. “The bride said she had to have Chronic Tacos at her reception, and treated our staff like they were celebrities.”