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Lake Forest-based Mexican fast food chain Del Taco LLC plans to expand in Alabama and northern Florida through a franchise agreement.

Del Taco, which counts more than 545 restaurants in 17 states, signed a 20-unit agreement with Alabama-based hotel operator Larry Blumberg & Associates. The Del Taco franchisee currently operates 68 Marriott and Hilton hotels.

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The first location under the franchise agreement is expected to open early next year in Dothan, Alabama.

Plans call for at least a dozen more Alabama locations in addition to Florida restaurants in Tallahassee and Jacksonville.

The agreement with Larry Blumberg & Associates is the latest in a series of deals driving Del Taco expansions in Florida, South Carolina and elsewhere during the past few years. A franchisee signed a 40-unit development agreement and opened the first Del Taco in the Houston area in March, and the company announced plans in February to grow in the Atlanta metropolitan area with 60 company-owned and franchised Del Tacos.

Del Taco said this week it hired San Francisco-based Camp + King as its agency of record. The agency replaces Southfield, Mich.-based Doner Co., whose Newport Beach office had previously handled the account.