Naugles was a fast-food Mexican restaurant chain that existed from 1970 to 1988. It was founded by former Del Taco employee Dick Naugle. The first Naugles restaurant was located in Riverside, California.
Harold Butler bought Naugles in 1971 when the chain consisted of three restaurants. He built it up to 225 restaurants by 1985, when he sold the chain to Collins Food International. Naugles merged with Del Taco in 1988.
However, this meant that Del Taco inherited the litigation that was being pursued against Naugles by former franchisee Vylene Enterprises Inc., run by Debra Vylene Green. The rapid expansion of Naugles had caused the franchise to make a mis-step. Vylene had been running a Naugles restaurant in Long Beach, California, when Naugles licensed a second restaurant to someone else, less than two miles away. A huge court battle was begun which lasted twelve years, until 1996, when a San Francisco federal court ruled that Naugles, now Del Taco, had breached its "covenant of good faith and fair dealing", awarding almost three million dollars to Vylene. This case was very closely watched by the entire fast food franchise industry, and the ruling sent all of the major franchises into deep contemplation of the terms "covenant of good faith and fair dealing." It is common now for franchises to conduct economic impact and viability studies anywhere that a new franchise is proposed.
Despite the legal issues, Del Taco has had no problem recruiting new franchisees. There are more than two hundred new franchises planned over the next two years. Taco Bell has saturated most markets, and Del Taco advertises better returns for franchise owners than Taco Bell restaurants, despite being the smaller of the two chains. Del Taco has most recently made its way into Texas, and continues east across the country at a phenomenal rate, giving closest competitors Taco Bell, McDonald's, and Rubio's a good run for their money.
In the Naugles TV commercials, the character of Señor Naugles was played by character actor Avery Schriber.
They Always Come back:
And then again... Sometimes they don't