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Be Consistent - Don't Confuse Customers

There is an awesome taqueria near the office that we go to often for lunch. The tacos are phenomenal – as good as tacos we’ve enjoyed in San Diego – and like most taquerias, the pricing is very reasonable. The place looks like a hole in the wall, also rather typical for taquerias. There’s even a salsa station with roasted jalapeno peppers, guacamole and an exceptionally spicy red sauce. Usually there are a few people there, but it’s hardly what I would call crowded. Considering the location, quality of the food and pricing they should have a line out the door every day.

I first went there because someone had suggested I try it, knowing my love of spicy food. I drove by the place twice before figuring out where it was. There were actually three different names on the front: one for a bar and grill, one for a Mexican restaurant and one for the taco stand. All three signs were together over the main entrance.

After parking, the confusion continued. I walked in the front door and was greeted by two more doors, with no indication of where I should be going for delicious tacos. I initially chose wrong and found myself in a completely empty restaurant – not a good first impression. The taco stand was inside the second door.

The lay out was, to be polite, unusual as the first thing I saw as I walked in was a trash can. The cook top was visible, but partially hidden. I joined those in line and sought out a menu. Strangely, the only menus were at the register and not accessible until you are face to face with the person taking orders. The menu was inaccurate and didn’t mention the hidden salsa bar (which I only found out about on my third visit).

Clearly some opportunities here to improve. First, choose one name so people can find the taco stand from the street. Add signage at the front door so the customers know where the taco stand is (and ideally prevent people from wandering into the empty restaurant). Change the interior lay out, add large menus on the wall that can be read from across the room, add signage for the salsa bar and a description of each sauce and create a nice web site to start. They could consider offering catering boxes, perfect for large orders. These are all easy, low cost process improvements. Confusing your customers makes an awful first impression. I keep going back because the food is awesome. If the experience compared to the food, I’m sure it would be crowded every day.

Your customers already love your product. Ulku Logistics can help improve the processes to ensure your customers also love the experience.

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