Naugles was a Southern California 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 at the southwest corner of Fourteenth St. and Brockton Ave. in Riverside, California (now a Del Taco). Dick's motto was "Prepare food fresh, Serve customer fast, Keep place clean!"
Harold Butler purchased Naugles in 1979 when the chain consisted of three restaurants. The chain was expanded by a system of non-exclusive franchises, which later was ruled unlawful by a federal court.1 Butler built Naugles up to 225 restaurants by 1986, when he sold the chain to Collins Foods International.2 Naugles merged with Del Taco in 1988.3 A few of the Naugles menu items, such as those with the "Macho" designation, found their way into the regular Del Taco menu. Also, the Naugles Taco Sandwich (Del Taco called it a "bun taco") can still be ordered from Del Taco even though it does not appear listed on the menu.
The last three remaining Naugles locations, all in the Vegas area, closed circa 1994/95.
On May 31, 2012, the Orange County Register reported that a group unaffiliated with the original restaurant may be trying to revive the Naugles brand.4 (UPDATE: The Register article does not actually state that the new group is unaffiliated with the original restaurant.) On July 9, 2013, the OC Weekly ran a similar story, with the author of the piece mentioning he had tried some Naugles taco sauce.5
In the Naugles TV commercials, the character of Señor Naugles was played by character actor Roger C. Carmel and comedian Avery Schreiber. Hispanic actors, offered the role, refused to take part in the advertisements due the stereotyped image presented of Mexicans (the source for this claim cannot be found).6
- Foss, Nicolai J.; Mahnke, Volker (2000). Competence, Governance, and Entrepreneurship: Advances in Economic Strategy Research. Oxford University Press. p. 235. ISBN 0-19-925981-X. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- Granelli, James S. (1986-04-18). "Collins President to Lead Rescue Effort Naugles' Losses Rise; Firm Makes Several Big Changes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- "Newport Man Completes Naugles, Del Taco Purchase". Los Angeles Times. 1988-03-30. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- Savan, Leslie (1994). The sponsored life: ads, TV, and American culture. Temple University Press. p. 241. ISBN 1-56639-245-4. Retrieved 2008-05-10.