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Area restaurant chain reaches milestone

The Hot Head Burritos chain has reached an important milestone with the opening of its 50th store in Urbana.

Hot Head President Ray Wiley — who co-founded the fast-casual burrito chain with his wife, Cynthia — said at least 10 more Hot Head locations are in various stages of development in Ohio and surrounding states.

The Kettering-based Mexican restaurant chain, which opened its first store in Kettering in 2007, operates in Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania and North Carolina in addition to Ohio. Its Urbana restaurant is located at 669 Scioto St.

Earlier this year, Hot Head opened a new restaurant at 1120 E. Stroop Road just west of Marshall Road in Kettering that Wiley said is a prototype for future Hot Head restaurants. The Kettering location has a drive-through lane, only the second in the chain to offer that service.

Wiley, whose experience includes overseeing several Subway franchise restaurants, said last year that he is working to develop Hot Head into a national chain.

The chain’s fast-paced growth backs up the national recognition that Hot Head has earned in the past couple of years: In December 2011, it was named among the “Ones to Watch” by QSR Magazine, which monitors the “quick-service restaurant” category.

And for two consecutive years in 2011 and 2012, the chain made’s list of “Top 100 Movers & Shakers,” which recognizes restaurant chains that reflect the fast-casual segment’s growth. There are more than 600 restaurant chains in the category, according to officials.

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