But one company that doesn't get discussed much is Fiesta Restaurant Group (FRGI) . Shares of the $1.5 billion market cap company are up 11.5% in 2014, despite growing revenue by double digits in the last quarter and posting same-store sales growth of 5.9% for its Pollo Tropical business.
Miami remains the strongest market, CEO Tim Taft told TheStreet TV's Jill Malandrino. The company continues to pull levers in Florida as well as its Texas market to drive stronger same-store sales growth.
For example, by eliminating several items from the menu and simplifying its offerings, the company is able to make its kitchen more efficient, Taft said.
It also helps the company has addressed key markets including Tampa, Orlando and St. Petersburg. These previously abandoned markets have now surged back over the past three to four years, with 30% to 40% growth and in some cases, 90% growth, Taft said.
The company has successfully rebuilt these markets into core parts of the business, he explained. Moving west, the company is heavily focused on Texas, an operation that could double or triple in size.
"It's absolutely critical," Taft said about finding the correct real estate. The company can afford prime locations because of its strong economic model, he added.
As for what's next, outside of Florida and Texas, anything within "the Union" seems like a viable option, Taft concluded.
-- Written by Bret Kenwell