Austin-based Torchy's Tacos plans to expand to Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and Shreveport by 2020 — its first locations in Louisiana. 

Torchy's Tacos began as a food truck run by a chef in 2006 but has grown to 76 brick-and-mortar locations that span from Colorado to Oklahoma, but the majority of the restaurants are in Texas. At this time, the company is not planning to open a location in New Orleans. 

Torchy's Tacos sells Tex-Mex, which includes breakfast tacos, usually a flour tortilla with eggs, cheese and chorizo pork sausage. It also has tortilla chips and queso, a melted cheese dip. It typically has a full bar at each location.

In 2016, then-president Barack Obama stopped at Torchy's Tacos in Austin for lunch. 

"We are incredibly excited to bring the Torchy’s Tacos brand to Louisiana and will continue to explore additional locations after we open the initial three markets that we have announced," said Scott Hudler, chief marketing officer at Torchy's Tacos. 

The small chain doesn't formally franchise its restaurants, but it does use a managing partner program where individuals invest an undisclosed amount in exchange for a share of profits in addition to a base salary. 

"The managing partner is able to share in the profits of the restaurant unlike a traditional manager," Hudler said. "We feel that by having these individuals participate in the profitability of the location that it delivers greater results."

In 2017, Torchy's Tacos generated $185 million in sales across more than 50 locations, an increase of 23% from 2016, according to Restaurant Business Magazine. The company is backed by private equity firm General Atlantic.

Email Kristen Mosbrucker at kmosbrucker@theadvocate.com.