Taco Cabana, a subsidiary of Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc., has sold its two company-owned Albuquerque, N.M., locations to its local franchisee Mel Sloan. Sloan's company also owns two other locations in Albuquerque.

He has been a Taco Cabana franchisee since 1994.

"I'm thrilled to be acquiring these two company-owned Taco Cabana locations and to have the opportunity to expand our fan base in Albuquerque," Sloan said. "It's the new direction of the company that has me excited about once again growing with the Taco Cabana system."

The decision to transfer the company-owned restaurants to Sloan was a matter of operational cost, efficiency and business strategy. With the majority of Taco Cabana's 160 locations in Texas, Tim Taft, Fiesta president and CEO, said the company wants to focus its growth efforts there. Taft added that Sloan already has a proven track record of success with his existing Taco Cabana franchise locations.

"We are excited to have Mel on board to continue as a franchisee and to have him take over the company-owned Albuquerque locations," Taft said. "Mel's franchise and managerial experience, along with his dedicated staff are the perfect mix for an excellent Taco Cabana dining experience. He and his team will be focused on the continued evolution of the brand in New Mexico."

Taco Cabana is currently updating all 160 of its existing locations. All updates are scheduled to be complete by early 2014. In July, Taco Cabana debuted its first newly designed restaurant concept in Allen, Texas.

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