Attracting the next generation of taco lovers

Posted Jun 5th, 2017

How our Mexican fast food franchise helps franchisees attract Generation Z

Move over, Millennials. Gen Z is the new worthy demographic in town, and these teenagers have money to spend and influence over their family’s spending, too. Here’s how Taco John’s Mexican fast food franchise is meeting the changing demographic of our customer base.

A bearded guy in a plaid shirt and wool beanie takes a selfie of himself and his girlfriend while he holds a taco in his other hand.
If it’s tech, it’s second nature to Generation Z, which is drawn to things like selfies, social media and even good old-fashioned mobile apps.

Menu innovation

Every year, Bob Karisny, our Vice President for Menu Strategy and Innovation, and Carl Blackbird, our Test Kitchen Chef, head out for a taco tour. They visit towns and villages all around the U.S. and Mexico looking for the newest, hottest, most popular flavor combinations and taste sensations.

They bring that research back to our test kitchens and experiment with their newfound knowledge to bring interesting Limited Time Offers (LTOs) to the menu, promotional tools that can drive guest traffic and boost year-over-year sales. We keep the staples on the menu because guests will always return for fan favorites like Potato Olés® and Meat and Potato Burritos. But diners, particularly younger diners, are always looking for something new, too.

By constantly traveling and tasting and keeping up with the latest in the culinary world, Karisny and Blackbird help maintain the perfect mix of innovative items and classics to retain existing guests while attracting new people to our Mexican fast food franchise.

We help you with marketing

Taco John’s develops multi-media campaigns on a variety of platforms that will vary from market to market, utilizing radio, TV, Facebook and print. We also appeal to younger, tech-savvy guests with our TJ® Rewards app and social media accounts on Instagram and elsewhere.

“Investing in outreach that effectively uses technology is critical for reaching this generation,” QSR Magazine

wrote recently. “A successful platform will meet teens on many different levels and offer social media, apps and digital messaging so restaurants can better engage teenagers and begin building relationships.”


A hand holding a taco shows what appears to be a taco shell with writing toasted on it that reads “April Fools.”
We had a little fun on our Instagram account on April 1, featuring photos of tacos that appeared to have writing toasted into the taco shells. That product isn’t in any immediate plans, but our audience appreciated the humor.

The TJ® Rewards app, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play, is a relationship-builder that encourages frequent interaction, which helps generate repeat business and brand loyalty. Our research shows the average guest check is 18% higher among guests who’ve downloaded the app compared to those who haven’t. That’s a great tool to help our franchisees boost the bottom line.

To learn more

If you think this is a great time to invest in a Mexican fast food franchise, you’re right. And if you think Taco John’s might be one of the best Mexican food franchises to invest in right now, you’re right again. We encourage you to explore our research pages. You can start a conversation by filling out the no-obligation form on this page to download our free franchise report.