Hot Head Burritos expands in Dayton area with food truck

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Hot Head Burritos, a locally owned fast-casual restaurant chain, is continuing to expand throughout the Dayton area with a food truck.

“Coming out of COVID everyone just had such a hard time. Everyone was in survival mood,” said Kelly Gray, vice president of Hot Head franchising. “Now, everyone is more focused on making sure their bottom line operations are good and then growing the brands and doing the right thing.”

Gray said Hot Head has a number of franchisees wanting to expand.



Hot Head opened its first store in 2007 at 2254 S. Smithville Road in Kettering. Two years later, franchising began. The chain now has 80 restaurants throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Texas.

“Right now our focus is really on those states specifically and then the surrounding states with a couple of exceptions,” Gray said.

In Ohio, Hot Head has two stores under construction in Wapakoneta and Cincinnati. By the end of year, six to seven new stores are expected to open.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Hot Head had the opportunity to buy a used food truck in the fall of 2023. Since January the food truck has visited corporate events and several breweries in the area. On Sunday, it will be at Bellbrook Brewing Company, 26 E. Franklin St. in Bellbrook.

Hot Head also has a new franchisee that is planning to open a food truck/trailer in the next 30 days in Miamisburg. This operation is planning to be stationary at the corner of Byers Road and Ohio State Route 725 near Bob Evans, Gray said.

“We feel, as the franchisor, if anything’s going on we have to try it first before we have a franchisee do it,” Gray said.

She says having a food truck will be useful for the company’s other franchisees who plan to open a new store. A food truck in particular is a useful tool to help train new employees and expand brand exposure, Gray said.

The company as a whole is looking to grow their stores in traditional storefronts as well as non-traditional formats like Air Force bases and food trucks.

Customers at Hot Head can build their own bowl, burrito, taco, quesadilla or nachos by choosing a protein, rice, beans, salsa and a variety of toppings and sauces. Gray said their food is made fresh daily.

“Our focus has always been on the food and the flavor,” Gray said. “Being able to customize your food the way you want it.”

In the future, Hot Head is looking for ways to automate operations and make their employees’ quality of life better. For example, they are looking into obtaining dishwashing machines for their restaurants. They are also testing an ordering kiosk at the Smithville location.

Hot Head offers dine-in, carryout and online ordering. Catering is available to order online. For more information, visit

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