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Like most college kids, our founder, Brian Wheeler, liked going to bars and restaurants. So much so that in 1995, he got the crazy idea to open his own despite never having worked in one. Problem was, like most college kids, Brian was broke. Fortunately for Tex-Mex fans, Brian’s dad loaned him the money to open the first Tijuana Flats in Winter Park, Florida.

Bring on the Big SHOTS

In ‘99, Brian’s success caught the eye of restaurant industry hotshot Camp Fitch, who left retirement to become partner & chairman of Tijuana Flats. Brian’s dad, Chester Wheeler, soon followed suit, leaving a 30-year career at a Fortune 500 company to become CFO of Tijuana Flats. Since then, Tijuana Flats has grown to 91 restaurants in four very lucky states!

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Sauce like a boss

While most college grads would be stoked just to own their own restaurant, Brian had a burning desire to go beyond burritos. So he created the “Smack My Ass & Call Me Sally” line of hot sauces, which includes a variety of flavorful sauces that range from sweet heat to full blown burns.

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roll deep. care hard. Flats Life.

With generous portions and innovative combinations that delight every taste bud, we make sure our guests are never left hungry thanks to an outpouring of honestly good, made-the-way-they-love-it, wherever-they-want-it food.


Since day one, Tijuana Flats has always given back to the community. But in January 2007, we created the Just in Queso Foundation to give back even more. Much more. We’ve raised over $4,000,000 and counting, and our team members have donated countless hours to help those in need. We give back internally too through team member scholarships, a team member assistance fund and other in-house initiatives.

Our Core Values

We satisfy people’s cravings for bold flavors and colorful experiences piled high with big-hearted over-the-top service. And we proudly celebrate every person and every community with Tex Mex For All. That nicely sums up what we do. But who are we at our core and what do we believe? Our core values can answer that. They’re the main things we believe are important in life and behaviors we strive to achieve at all times.


We always treat every individual equally and with great respect, striving to listen, lead by example, openly communicate and treat others as we want to be treated. We truly care about our people and are quick to lend a hand during tough times, both personally and professionally.