Brand Lends Helping Hand

New York City’s Otto’s Tacos is relaunching as a delivery-only brand thanks to a partnership with its East Village neighbor Mighty Quinn’s BBQ.  The brands’ flagship restaurants have been part of the same restaurant community since 2013, explained Mighty Quinn’s BBQ C0-CEO Micha Magid.

“When Otto's was unable to re-open their restaurants following the COVID-related shutdowns, we proposed bringing the brand back to New York as a virtual taco concept and their team was onboard with the idea,” he said. “We had the capacity in our kitchens to do more and thought bringing Otto's amazing street tacos to our neighborhoods was a unique opportunity.”

In order to do so, a separate area was created in the kitchen to keep both menus out of each other's way. Staffing needs were fairly minimal with one additional team member for peak service periods.

“Beyond that there was not much that was logistically challenging given our restaurants are already setup for high throughput fast casual service,” Magid said. 

There were a number of reasons his team wanted to give this partnership a try. 

“This was really a function of being huge fans of Otto's Tacos and our own desire to find ways to increase system sales without any meaningful capital outlay. The pandemic has upended traditional restaurant economics. With the step change to higher off premise sales we felt the need to be responsive in more innovative ways and this was a great way to accomplish that.”

And so far, guests are responding and he anticipates expansion in the future.

“While the whole menu is streamlined and stands on its own against any Mexican concept, the carnitas tacos are a step above anything you've tried,” Magid added. “The pork shoulder is braised in beer and spices before being seared on the skillet. It's exceptional. We hope to open Otto's Tacos on a ghost basis in more of our locations. Once we get all the service and preparation related variables dialed in, we'll explore what makes sense to expand the brand.”