Today we’d like to introduce you to Manuel Garcia.
Hi Manuel, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My journey started two years ago when I left my morning radio show in Houston to start a new venture in food. Tacos have always had a special place in my heart, and after figuring out my recipe for Birria tacos (from a Mexican mom in Houston), the idea was to come back to my hometown and sell Birria Tacos in the 305. We started small with a popup and in two years, has grown into a faithful fanbase of birria lovers.
Because of covid, we changed our approach and left our food truck for pre-order pickup. We are totally Instagram-based. Our people order via a link, get a confirmation and show up at a random parking lot in Hollywood and open their trunks a few minutes later. Someone from our team shows up and drops the food fresh in the trunk. No contact at any point. This system has developed into something of a cult following. Funny part is most families that order from us bring picnic chairs and usually eat the food in the parking lot as soon as they get it. The idea for now is to expand to a pickup order-only location soon, with deliveries at some point. We also have items that nobody else has in the city, like our challah bread birria grilled cheese with consume.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The road hasn’t been easy when we started our product wasn’t at the level I wanted but after testing and traveling to Mexico, California, and Chicago, we kept working on the small details and adjusting as we went. Also, Covid made us change our whole system around from popups to preorder pickup. Lastly, the biggest thing I’ve learned is to focus on those that support you get than worrying about those that don’t. Love, support, and over service those that support u. I’ve made it a task to really focus on my customers than anything else. What do they like or want? They are the most important element.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My love for food goes beyond taste. I truly love the story, where it’s made or grown, the history and culture behind the food. That’s why I took trips to Mexico to not just sell a taco but truly understand the food I was offering. My 15-year career in Radio has helped me on my food journey because I’m not the typical chef with all the qualities or schooling but I work extra hard and ask all the questions, plus the biggest thing is I’m not afraid to fail at this… selling food these days takes more than just schooling you need to be balanced in a few different areas to succeed.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Customer Care. Know the people you are targeting. Also, Video content is king and real content makes a huge difference in the way people see you. Lastly, innovation is huge… learn to ride the wave and stay creative with the food and approach.
- Website: https://www.donmanuelstacos.com/
- Instagram: @donmanuelstacos
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DonManuelsTacos