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Behind Mission Taco's 'lite' transition to fast-causal dining

"Mission Taco is not just a place to eat, it's a place to hang out and party. But we can't do that now"
Credit: Tony Chambers

ST. LOUIS — Mission Taco Joint didn't re-open its dine-in service despite St. Louis government officials loosening restrictions May 18.

Instead, the Mexican concept will launch a temporary fast-casual business model in the restaurant called Mission Taco Lite at a date to be determined. Hours will be limited to 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. — so no late night happy hour that the brand is known for — for all seven of its locations, including its new restaurant in Kirkwood. It will be using reservations system Wisely.

"Mission Taco is not just a place to eat, it's a place to hang out and party. But we can't do that now," said co-owner Adam Tilford, adding that his restaurants are pulling in about 30-40% of normal revenues.

Here's how Mission Taco Lite work:

  • Guests will order from a menu on disposable paper at the bar and pay for meals prior to sitting down;
  • There will be limited indoor seating with barriers separating tables. There will be no bar seating;
  • There will be plexiglass screens at the ordering areas and the service bar;
  • The restaurant will offer a limited food and drink menu, and all offerings will be served in disposable containers. Food going from the kitchen to the table will have a lid; and
  • All Mission Taco Joint staff will wear face masks, and there will be sanitizer stations at the front doors, bathrooms and dining rooms.

Click here for the full story.

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