Marketing lessons from a "crazy" taco joint

Taco Loco is the name of the unassuming Mexican restaurant located in a strip mall in northwest Columbus. In Spanish, the name stands for crazy taco. While there isn’t anything too crazy about the environment or food, the restaurant probably won’t ever need to rebrand. Why? Because they are doing the most important thing right. 

The restaurant doesn’t have a remarkable ambiance, but it has the one thing that will keep customers coming back time and time again—a welcoming vibe. (Ahem, we all want to belong!) Of course, the other reason to come back is for the delicious, authentic Mexican food.

From my observations, Taco Loco has mastered the way to make customers feel like they belong. I have dined there several times in the last few months to observe the place bumbling with a variety of patrons, spanning all races and ages. 

First, when you walk through the door you are greeted with a smile, handshake or hug. One day I watched people steadily walk in for about 15 minutes and most of them got the hug. Many are called by name, too. The restaurant’s regulars come back because they are welcomed and treated like family. They are taken care of, not just by one person while they dine, but by the entire staff who checks on patrons throughout their meal to make sure they are having the best experience. It’s an authentic, over-the-top focus on the customer experience. 

Besides creating regulars with these exceptional customer service standards, Taco Loco is also building its fan base and free word-of-mouth advertisers (like me, ha!). This genuine way of doing business can truly help their customer base grow exponentially. It’s not a bad payoff for simply making the effort to focus on their customer’s comfort level and experience. 

I wish more companies in today’s service industry would take some tips from Taco Loco. You can create the best marketing campaigns in the world, but they mean nothing if you don’t follow through at the ground level and treat your customers right!

Now for your homework: How can you recreate or refresh this exceptional customer service example for your business? What will keep people wanting to come back? 

Let me know if you’d like to TACO ‘bout it!

Shannon P.R.