Taco John’s® wins award for culinary innovation and operations

Posted May 8th, 2017

Award demonstrates what we’ve been saying: We’re one of the best casual franchises around

The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association recognized Taco John’s® for our culinary innovation and excellence in operations at the 2017 COEX Innovation Awards. At the IFMA Chain Operators EXchange (COEX) conference in Las Vegas recently, Taco John’s accepted our award in a ceremony that also recognized some of the other best casual franchises, including Arby’s, Chik-fil-A and Granite City Food & Brewery.

Our inclusion among top franchise brands speaks to our commitment to excellence in all areas of our operations as well as our dedication to keeping our menu fresh and innovative while maintaining the classic items our guests have come to expect. Watch the COEX awards video below regarding our award:

“Winning the consumer today requires exceptional strategy and execution,” IFMA President and CEO Larry Oberkfell said in a press release. “These Innovation Award winners are consummate at both, and find a way to stand above their competition during difficult economic times. Congratulations to our winners for demonstrating that innovation is a winning strategy.”

How culinary innovation draws customers

The Taco John’s culinary team, led by Bob Karisny, has come up with noteworthy Limited Time Offers (LTOs) such as the Chicken Sopapilla Taco, Shrimp Tacos and our perennial guest favorite during the holidays, Nachos Navidad®. COEX also notes that our Street Tacos® campaign in the summer of 2015 helped increase comp sales almost 6% over the previous year and helped attract more of the sought-after Millennial demographic to our restaurants. We were also recognized for our charitable efforts through TJ® Gives.

Our culinary team strives to create about four LTOs per year, which is a great way to generate interest from new guests as well as to test out potential new items for our permanent menu. Some of our recent offerings include the Chicken and Gravy Breakfast Burrito and the Chicken Quesadilla Taco. While we’ve been in business for almost 50 years, our continued efforts to innovate keep our brand fresh and makes us one of the best casual franchises around for investors.

A trio of tacos rest in a tinfoil-lined cardboard tray, a slice of lime visible in the background on the right.
Our Street Tacos®, which debuted as an LTO in 2015, proved to be wildly popular and helped drive same-store sales up 6% over the previous year.

In good company

According to the IFMA website, the Culinary/Operations Innovation Award recognizes QSR franchise companies and chains that “demonstrate true innovation” in areas including:

  • Food preparation, quality and/or presentation
  • Introduction of new menu items
  • Addressing trends that drive consumer behavior (health/wellness, flavor/nutrition and demographics)
  • Operational systems.

Past award winners in the regional chain category include Mellow Mushroom, McAllister’s Deli and Maggiano’s. The national chain award winner this year was Arby’s. Taco John’s is proud to join such well-regarded franchises and chains.

Learn more about Taco John’s

As a strong and growing regional chain and one of the best casual franchises around, we still have many unclaimed territories for qualified buyers. We’d love to talk to you about the opportunities for single- and multi-unit owners. Fill out the no-obligation form on this page to download our free franchise report, or explore our research pages for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.