Written by Kon-Tiki Taco
Restaurant and catering reviews can be subjective. Still, there are food service companies that succeed due to a combination of food, service and panache that sets them above the rest in their category – and customers know it.
The relatively young catering category of taco catering carts is emerging on the West Coast and generating notice by event planners everywhere. With different companies offering similar fare, one might be tempted to think of them generically. But that would be a big mistake – there can be just as much a difference from company A to company B as there are among pizzerias, wedding cake bakers and gourmet seafood restaurants.
The first consideration of course should be the food. Insist on a tasting, if possible, when reviewing taco cart caterers.
Second, consider the overall planning and execution of the event. This has to work for you and your event, including the event guests and the sponsoring organization. If you’re an experienced event producer, you probably have a good idea of how that works if not some familiarity with on-site taco catering.
But for the novice and experienced party planner alike, customer satisfaction ratings are a strong indicator. From a study of Yelp reviews, the following characteristics seem to be prominent on the minds of the taconistas:
- Food: look for taste, variety, a break from the ordinary
- Variety of selections, with quality in the food ranging from taco fillings to shells, salsas and toppings
- Caterer able to handle large (75 or more people) parties
- Sufficient set-up time is allotted
- Friendly event staff, including wait staff who walk around to direct people to the food and announcing a “last call” before closing down.
- Adaptability to party venue, providing ideas on where the set-up would best serve guest convenience
- Price reasonable relative to service and food quality
- Creative themes, adapting the taco cart to the overall event
- Providing other services, including bartenders/bar set-up and music (live or DJ)
- Sufficient set-ups and service level to keep lines short (to maximize diners’ time socializing and eating)
When speaking with vendors for any type of event – be it wedding, office or family party taco cart caterers – you might use the above criteria as your checklist.
A final note: The chemistry between event planners and caterers is always of paramount importance. Who wants to spend a month or more in planning something with a professional who makes you uncomfortable in any respect? Planning parties should have some joy involved – studies show that when people are having fun working they will be more creative and even more productive.