JAE Restaurant Group looks back on an eventful past which has seen spectacular highlights, starting with its founders Jhonny Mercado, Andres Garcia, and Eddie Rodriguez. While each of them had their own path in the beginning, their journeys eventually crossed paths. As destiny would have it, they would become JAE Restaurant Group in 2014. However, their story is one that predates back to as early as 1993 in the Wendy’s System.
Eddie Rodriguez started his Wendy’s career in 1993 and was Co-founder of Bal-Rod Enterprises with Sergio Balsinde. It was then that Eddie opened his 1st Restaurant in Hialeah, FL. Eddie was passive in the Business until 2000 when he and Sergio decided to grow the Business and by the end of the year were Operating 5 Restaurants out of Miami, FL. In 2001 Bal-Rod expanded into Broward County and acquired 4 Restaurants bringing their total to 9 Restaurants. In 2002 Bal-Rod continued to expand now with the purchase of 5 Restaurants out of Orlando, FL. By the end of 2002, with addition on new build Restaurants, Bal-Rod had grown their portfolio to 18 Restaurants.
Andres Garcia and Jhonny Mercado joined the Wendy’s family in 1998 operating as Franchisees in Venezuela. Jhonny and Andres paths would officially cross in 2007.
Andres and Jhonny, founded JAI International Investment in January 2007, when they acquired their 3 first restaurants in Miami area. Six months later, they bought 2 more. By the end of 2013, JAI International Investment had 37 restaurants located between Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Tampa. In March 2014, JAI International Investment acquired from Wendy’s International 25 restaurants in New Mexico. Becoming a 62 restaurants franchisee.
In August 2014, Eddie, Jhonny and Andres decided to merge their companies. Bal-Rod Enterprises with 13 restaurants and JAI International Investment with 62 became JAE Restaurant Group. Soon after, in November, the group acquired 15 restaurants in El Paso, Texas from another franchisee. By the end of the year, JAE had 92 restaurants now within 3 markets: Florida, New Mexico, and Texas, including 2 new restaurants developed by the Company.
Between 2014 and 2016, JAE Restaurant Group worked diligently to build its 5 Star management team. The company developed and opened 9 more new restaurants within its markets. JAE also achieved to acquire more restaurants from Wendy’s International. In November 2015 the company added 42 restaurants in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, then in August 2016 44 more restaurants in Miami Dade.
2017 was another successful year as JAE Restaurant Group LLC opened 3 restaurants, and in December acquired 34 restaurants in Knoxville, Tennessee, a new market.
JAE Restaurant Group LLC began 2019:
- 215 restaurants in Florida, New Mexico, Texas, and Tennessee
- $350 million in annual revenue
- Among the Top 5 franchisees in the Wendy’s system
- Ranked as #47 multi-unit franchisee by Mega 99 Rankings
- Senior leadership team with over 300 years of relevant experience
- 53 % of its restaurant Image Activated
Looking into the future, JAE plans to continue growing stronger; always committed to have a 5 Star Organization where Employees go First and Positively Delight Every Customer.