|Type||Wholly owned subsidiary|
|Founder(s)||Warren Simmons, Sr.
Warren "Scooter" Simmons, Jr.
|Headquarters||Cypress, California, U.S.|
|Number of locations||About 100|
|Area served||United States|
|Key people||Charles Rinker, President
Nick Mayer, SVP Operations
Steven Tanner, CFO
|Industry||Casual dining restaurant|
|Revenue||$65.1 million (2007)|
|Owner(s)||Real Mex Restaurants|
|Parent||Real Mex Restaurants|
Chevys Fresh Mex is a chain of Mexican-style casual dining restaurants located in the United States. The chain was founded in 1981 by Warren Simmon, Sr. and Warren "Scooter" Simmon, Jr. in Alameda, California. It is currently located in Cypress, California and is owned by Real Mex Restaurants, Inc. "Chevys" does not contain an apostrophes.
The chain was founded in 1981 by Warren Simmon his son Scooter Simmon, when they opened their first restaurant in Alameda, California. It grew to 37 restaurants across California by August 1993, when it was acquired by PepsiCo subsidiary Taco Bell. When PepsiCo decided to exit the restaurant business in 1997, Chevys was sold to the investment group J.W. Childs Associates. In 1999, Chevys purchased Rio Bravo Cantina, a poorly-performing chain of Mexican restaurants with 66 locations in the United States, from Applebee's International for $59 million.
However, business was poor at the Rio Bravo locations, and in 2003 Chevys' executives had to file for Chapter Eleven bankruptcy protection. For the next year and a half, Chevys operated as debtor in possession under Chapter Eleven. In January 2005, Chevys and Fuzio Universal Pasta were acquired by Real Mex Restaurants, Inc., the Long Beach, California-based parent company of El Torito Restaurants and Acapulco Mexican Restaurants. Because of that, Real Mex Restaurants became the largest operator of full-service, Mexican restaurants in the United States.
El Machino is the name of a machine that shapes, flips and bakes tortillas for Chevys Fresh Mex restaurants. The name is pseudo-Spanish for "The Machine"—the real Spanish would be "la máquina." El Machino produces tortillas every 53 seconds (about 900 every day) which are served in less than three minutes. El Machino is visible in the dining area of some Chevys restaurants.
Chevys' marketing is based around their "Fresh Mex Pledge," in which they promise that everything they serve is made fresh daily. However, a few of their items, such as the ranch dressing and some of their sauces and desserts, are pre-made. The chain also claims to use no canned food in its kitchens.
The chain sells a variety of Mexican-style foods, including tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, fruit-flavored margaritas, alcoholic beverages, fajitas, tortillas, enchiladas, and burritos. Approximately 70 percent of Chevys revenue comes from dinner sales, while lunch accounts for roughly 30 percent of sales.