TacoTime’s New Product Evaluation Committee Gives Franchise Owners A Voice
Being able to weigh in on menu changes and new concepts ensures that on-the-ground experience and suggestions are heard and acted upon in testing
A big driver for entrepreneurs who launch a business is being their own boss, which also means making the big decisions. At a TacoTime® Mexican food franchise, there’s no bigger decision than any changes to the menu, and that’s why franchise owners can weigh in by way of the New Product Evaluation Committee.
“As a franchise owner myself, I know how frustrating it would be if I didn’t know what we were going to be making and selling to customers,” says Kevin Gingrich, President. “That’s why TacoTime has always put franchise owners squarely in the middle of the process when it comes to evaluating not only the existing menu, but also seasonal and other new items that our R&D team comes up with.”
Committee continually evaluating concepts
The New Product Evaluation Committee’s work is, literally, never done. TacoTime has an aggressive promotional strategy — six new items per year — so the committee’s members are regularly looking at new products. Its members work one-on-one with the R&D team, as well as the brand team, in the corporate offices to look potential new menu items. If everyone involved likes what they see, and taste, those products make their way to select TacoTime Mexican food franchise locations for a limited test run.
“The committee members taste, rate and discuss the products, and then take the ones that are approved back to their stores as a limited-time offer,” Kevin says. “Not only do they know the product is coming, they can speak knowledgeably about it to customers and recommend it without reservation. That kind of product knowledge is very much a part of the TacoTime difference.”
Feedback is key to an ever-evolving menu
Even then, the committee’s job is not done. Once a new product is on a TacoTime location’s menu, the franchise owner provides feedback on how easily employees adapt to making and selling it to what customers have to say about the item. That information is then passed along to the Franchise Advisory Council, another group of TacoTime Mexican food franchise owners that has direct input on operations, and in this case, is deciding on the next years’ worth of promotions.
“The input from every TacoTime Mexican food franchise owner is vital to the brand’s growth,” Kevin says. “We have many different committees so that owners can find lots of ways to plug in and be heard. We don’t just value what they have to say and offer, we put their experience into action. It’s a constant feedback process, and it’s why the brand continues to grow in new locations, as well as same-store revenues, every year.”
TacoTime is ready for the spotlight. With more than 350 locations in the United States and Canada, the Mexican food franchise is ready to break out of its home turf in the Pacific Northwest and hit the national stage. TacoTime is looking for entrepreneurs who are passionate about bringing authentic and affordable Mexican food to their communities. TacoTime is led by a veteran franchise team and dedicated brand support team as part of the Kahala Brands™ family.