Locally Based Taco Cabana Focuses On Food Quality

by Mark

One of my local favorite tacqueria’s chains is stepping up its efforts to showcase and highlight it’s food and BOH operations….I say “it’s about time!”

I recently read an article that  Taco Cabana  is looking to refresh its brand with new products, store improvements and an ad campaign aimed at highlighting the 157-unit chain’s “obsession” with high-quality Mexican food.

Obsession is good thing in the food business. I wish more of my clients and customers would take food obsession and make it a part of their corporate culture. I was recently at a strategy session with one of my Fortune 100 clients, they have a change in leadership that is driving this mega-food company to start getting everyone in the company to start getting serious about food. Imagine that….a multi-billion dollar international food company wants to start getting food at the top of mind of the rank and file!

What a concept – a food company that views it’s products as something more than a widget that they sell.

Back to Taco Cabana – Todd Coerver, a new addition to the company as the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) has indicated that the strategy is to return the fast-casual chain to its roots by adding more on-site preparation and authentic ingredients. He was recently quoted as saying:

“The ultimate goal is to provide guests with a high-quality Mexican food experience at a fair price,”

In my local San Antonio and Austin market they have added a brisket taco made with hickory-smoked, hand-shredded brisket with barbecue sauce or salsa on the side. I know the source and vendor for the brisket and I must tell you that I am impressed that they chose who they did. There is a ton of lousy brisket out in the marketplace and I applaud the R&D team and Procurement team for using a high quality product.

Coerver and his team have created a new offline ad campaign highlighting the changes will launch May 3 with commercials conveying the message, “Taco Cabana. Making great-tasting Mexican food is our obsession.” Actual cooks from the chain’s restaurants will be starring in the commercials.

Let’s see if they also take the campaign online or tap into the growing mobile marketing applications.

“This campaign is about showcasing our cooks in the kitchen, who with great effort and care prepare our food by hand,” he said. “Every day they are hand-rolling our flautas and enchiladas, roasting tomatoes and jalapenos for our Salsa de Fuego and hand-cutting and grilling our fajitas over an open flame.”

Kuddos to the team for highlighting the people who are in the back of the restaurant making all of the magic happen.  As many of you know from my marketing bootcamps and newsletters, customers connect more with authenticity.

Coerver, who joined Taco Cabana from Whataburger Restaurants in January, has been tasked with growing the popularity of the chain. He was hired along with Jason Abelkop, who heads up marketing for sister brand Pollo Tropical.

I look forward to seeing future rollouts and new food items from the team…

Stay tuned.

Mark

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