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Wal-Mart Spawning Foodservice Deals with Ethnic, Healthy Restaurants

The Wal-Mart Supercenter in Rowlett, Texas is the site of Wal-Mart's first-ever in-store Latin chicken restaurant, Pollo Campero. The franchising deal, which was first revealed last fall, is expected to result in 20 more restaurants inside Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. by the end of 2009.

"We were attracted to Pollo Campero because of its unique, broad appeal to all our customers, providing a perfect complement to the Wal-Mart shopping experience," said John Murphy, Wal-Mart regional v.p., North/Northeast Texas. "I'm impressed with the advance technology behind their food preparation and the highly trained team that will serve our customers."

The restaurant in the Rowlett Supercenter is a corporate unit owned by Campero USA Corp., the U.S. division of Pollo Campero, based in Dallas. Wal-Mart and Campero will hold a grand opening celebration for the new restaurant May 15.

Founded in 1971 by the Gutierrez family in Guatemala, Pollo Campero opened its first U.S. restaurant in 2002. Since then, the company has opened 40 locations from California to New York and Florida.

In related news, Camille's Sidewalk Cafe, a rapidly growing Tulsa, Okla.-based company with 1,000 restaurants open or in development throughout the world, could make its debut at a Wal-Mart as early as this fall.

The company entered into an agreement earlier this year to begin franchising its brand across the country inside Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Camille's serves "healthy fast food."

Meanwhile, Mexican quick-service brand The Taco Maker has reportedly signed a landlord/tenant agreement with Wal-Mart to begin franchising in Wal-Mart stores across the United States.

The agreement includes all concepts in The Taco Maker's corporate portfolio, including Mayan Juice, Taco Maker, and Jake's Over the Top. To date, TTM has signed lease agreements to open stores in Utah, Florida, and South Carolina. Six of these locations will open this year, the company said.

TTM currently has more than 185 units open in the United States, Latin America, and the Far East.
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