SAN ANTONIO, June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Fans familiar with Taco Cabana® will begin to see changes starting today as the brand takes its first steps into a summer of change that finds the Mexican fast casual chain having a little fun with a whole new vibe. Guests will still be treated to great tasting, high quality, handmade food at an affordable price, but "the original Mexican patio cafe" is adding a little "zip" to its "doo-dah" with an irreverent new ad campaign, the unveiling of several new menu items and a vibrant new look in the restaurants.
A Summer of Change
Taco Cabana is drawing on the ideas of fun and flavor to guide an evolution of the brand. From a funny new advertising campaign and exciting interactive elements, to brighter, bolder restaurant decor and innovations on the menu, Taco Cabana invites consumers to enjoy an all-new "TC" experience this summer and beyond.
What's behind Taco Cabana's decision to inject a little spice into its existing plans? "We're in such an exciting place with this brand that it was time to push the envelope a little bit. We're about handmade Mexican food and margaritas, our color is pink, we've got relaxing patios – it should be fun!" says Todd Coerver, chief marketing officer at Taco Cabana. "We believe Taco Cabana is that easy, affordable break from the stress of the day, to experience the flavors of Mexico. So we're trying to reflect that in everything we do."
"That's TC" Creative Features a Bright New Face
A brand new, light-hearted creative campaign breaks today, illustrating the many ways Taco Cabana fits into people's lives. The TV spots feature multi-talented actress and comedian Anjelah Johnson in situations that explain why "TC" is the ideal way to end a rough day, smooth over a fight with a loved one, fight a craving or just relax with friends, all ending with the new phrase "That's TC!", to express the more easy-going side of the brand.
"We chose Anjelah for this new TV campaign because of her genuinely fun and irreverent personality," said Coerver. "We expect our loyal Taco Cabana fan base to love the way she represents the brand, while people not as familiar with the brand may be attracted to the fun, easy vibe we're putting out there. It's a look and feel that we believe best represents the genuine, relaxed attitude of TC."
Consumers will also see hard-to-miss new billboards from Taco Cabana, featuring irreverent phrases on a background of the brand's signature pink, which reflect the personality of the new campaign while extolling the brand's points of difference.
Engaging with the TC Fans
Connecting with fans is a critical piece of how and where the Taco Cabana brand is evolving, as evidenced by plans for more prevalent digital integrations on popular websites and by the social media elements that the brand is rolling out.
Taco Cabana has reworked its website, which now makes it easy to connect with the brand on Facebook, sign up for its popular E-club or find out about current promotions and contests.
Taco Cabana also launched in early June a hunt for the #1 TC Fan, where Taco Cabana fanatics can submit a video showcasing their love for "TC" to get free stuff. Following an online vote, Taco Cabana will award its "numero uno" fan $1,000. That'll buy a lot of flautas.
And, Taco Cabana created TCgirl.com, a site where fans can learn more about Anjelah Johnson and get to know her – and the brand – in a ton of new and entertaining ways. There will be fresh content posted all the time, including behind-the-scenes footage, poll questions, live Twitter feeds and promotions, and ways for fans to interact with Anjelah.
"The online efforts are all great opportunities for us to engage more with our fans. We'll be delivering fun content, and we're hoping to get the same back from both our fans and from Anjelah's fans," said Coerver.
Brighter and Bolder Restaurants
Once in the restaurants, guests will notice brightly colored, easier-to-read menu boards and bolder photography on the walls, playing up the vibrant colors of Taco Cabana's freshly prepared food.
"We want our restaurants to reflect the fun, relaxed patio vibe that is TC," said Coerver. "We believe the lighter, brighter feel of the restaurants will create an enjoyable environment for guests, complete with happy hour now offered seven days a week."
Adding to the Flavors of Mexico
The latest additions to the menu come as Taco Cabana continues to infuse its menu with the true flavors of Mexico. The restaurants have added new grilled ajo chicken street tacos, building out a new category started by the wildly popular marinated steak street tacos that debuted in 2010.
The chicken street tacos include all white-meat chicken, marinated with roasted garlic, onions and rich red peppers, served with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes, topped with a creamy chipotle sauce. The inspiration for the traditional-style street tacos – small tacos, served three to an order, each served in two corn tortillas – came from a culinary team trip to Guadalajara, Mexico.
"This is how the street tacos are served from the vendors on the bustling streets of Mexico. We want to replicate those same fresh, simple flavor combinations that make street tacos such a staple in Mexico," said Smokey Waters, corporate chef at Taco Cabana, who was part of the team that made the initial culinary trip to Mexico. "Another such trip is being planned for this September," he added.
Taco Cabana also adds desserts to the menu system-wide, including sopapillas made fresh-to-order, served with honey and a new dulce de leche cream dipping sauce. And fan favorite brisket tacos will be added to the menu permanently in response to the overwhelming demand during its limited-time run. Brisket will now also be available to top Cabana Bowls and nachos, as an option for quesadillas and breakfast tacos, and will be sold by the pound.
"We've offered brisket tacos on the menu twice now, and each time, our guests' response was phenomenal, so we knew it was time to give it a permanent spot on the menu at TC," said Coerver. "This is a great example of how our brand listens to and responds when our fans speak out."
Guests will also find old favorites in a new place on the menu, with the Create a Cabana options now being called Mexican Customs, in honor of the brand's ties to the customs and traditions of Mexico. In addition to the Cabana Bowls, customers can now build and customize their own burrito.
About Taco Cabana: The Story Behind our Obsession
In 1978, Taco Cabana began as a taco stand in San Antonio, with the unique recipes and ingredients that reflect our rich Tex-Mex culture and food. With more than 156 restaurants in 3 states, Taco Cabana continues to redefine the Mexican fast-casual dining experience through ongoing menu and service enhancements. We are committed to satisfying the appetites of our customers through our obsession for making great-tasting Mexican food. From our kitchens' daily fresh-made tortillas and handmade salsas to our flame-grilled fajitas and refreshing margaritas, our obsession lives on, making Taco Cabana one of the region's most enduring and beloved Mexican food brands. Taco Cabana is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. For more information on Taco Cabana or Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc., visit www.tacocabana.com or www.carrols.com. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for offers and updates from Taco Cabana.
SOURCE Taco Cabana