As your startup begins to grow, so too will your cultural traditions. Here at Yonomi, our culture stands on 4 pillars:
The last pillar, hunger, is defined by Yonomi employees in two ways. First, hungry is a desire to achieve something great, such as a hunger for innovation and/or growth. And second is hunger for the little gourmet taco creations that feed the body and the soul.
In the early days of Yonomi, the management team made a strategic decision to combine the love of camaraderie and the hunger for tacos by establishing a company tradition of Tacos Tuesdays.
“There are a few traditions we hold dear at Yonomi, and Taco Tuesday is pre-eminent. Not only do Tuesdays bring celebration but also community to the organization as a whole. Taco Tuesday is the glue that joins the various teams across the company together in a low stakes, friendly environment where the only goal is to enjoy a meal.”
How do you taco?
It seems you can’t say enough about a free lunch, particularly on Tuesdays. So for those of you who are unfamiliar with Taco Tuesday and would like a guide for implementation and figuring out "how you taco," let’s sink our teeth into some fun facts first, then the guide for implementation at your start-up.
Here are some fun facts about Tacos and Taco Tuesday.
What is a taco?
One could assume a taco is universally understood, but alas, perhaps not. A taco is a small, handheld food that originates from Mexico. It consists of a tortilla, corn, or flour, that is filled with meat, chicken, fish, and/or vegetables of your choice. For clarification, you can read more about the taco here!
What is Taco Tuesday?
Taco Tuesday is an American tradition of sharing tacos on Tuesday. Restaurants around America serve cheap tacos on Tuesdays to lure patrons in to enjoy—well—cheap tacos.
When is Taco Tuesday held?
Taco Tuesday is held on Tuesdays. Although this fact is obvious to some, it’s a question for many as noted in the screenshot from Google "People also ask" questions below. But yes, Taco Tuesday is an eating tradition held on Tuesdays.
Why the taco?
Tacos are cheap, at least on Tuesdays. At $2.00-$3.00 a taco, even the most cash-strapped startup can afford to take the team out to lunch. Tacos also break down social barriers. Eating with your hands and trying to take a bite without taco fallout is pretty much impossible. This mess brings out the social in even the most anti-social of characters. Food on your face? Oh well. Taco sauce on your shirt? Even better. Even practiced taco eaters can’t seem to eat a clean taco. So, leave your title at the door and eat a taco, and chips and salsa too.
Now that we are clear on the basics, here are some tips for implementing Taco Tuesday at your startup.
Find the right taco
There are many taco varieties from street tacos to the fancier “stuffed” variety, and finding the right taco to suit the tastes of your team is important. At Yonomi, we prefer the small "street taco" variety. For other start-ups, this may not fit internal culinary tastes. Be flexible and open-minded. You will find a taco that is right for you and your coworkers. Furthermore, whether you’re more of a birria kind of person or a fan of al pastor, the taco joint you choose should cater to the wants and needs of most people. Even the pickiest of eaters will find something to like when the tacos are free.
Find the right Taco Tuesday location
The ambiance is important. Again, tastes vary. Some prefer outside deck seating, others prefer to eat in a well air-conditioned space. “Old Mexico” style may be right for some, while others may prefer "industrial chic". Finding the right taco joint is a very important step in implementing Taco Tuesdays at your start-up. At Yonomi, based in Boulder, Colorado we prefer the great outdoors. So a nice-sized deck is a huge plus. Did you say roof-top? Yes, please! In the end, it becomes a trade-off between the atmosphere, the food, and how willing people are to venture into unfamiliar spaces and neighborhoods in search of “the best” taco.
During my own search for the right Taco Tuesday location, I ate more tacos in two weeks than I had eaten in 10 years. It was a grueling process I can tell you, and NOT for the faint of heart.
Slow growth is to be expectedDon't be disappointed if it’s just you and a coworker at your first official Taco Tuesday. If you start out slow, the one-on-one setting is great for getting to know individuals. Once the word gets out, it won’t be long until its standing room only.
In Boulder, T|aco has been our go-to spot since before our Series A. As a matter of fact, T|aco has won the hearts of many a founder in Boulder and is the seed ground for many a deal and napkin-based mockup. So deeply rooted is Taco Tuesday in the community that start-ups are not the only group to reap the benefits. Enjoying a Tuesday taco at your local taco joint may just lead to the innovation or financial boost your company needs to accelerate.
Create communityResearch into human psychology has shown that identification with a group leads to an increase in life satisfaction. Given that we spend upwards of one-third of our entire lives at work, it is essential to create an environment where individuals feel connected and part of a community. At Yonomi, we work hard to foster this sense of community and belonging through the glorious sharing of the humble taco.
Take Pictures While Enjoying TacosIf your company has multiple offices, sharing pictures from Taco Tuesdays is a great way for coworkers to share in the remote festivities. Even if they have never met, co-workers will enjoy scenes of Taco Tuesday from far away locations.
There you have it. Implementing Taco Tuesday takes some effort, but its benefits are far-reaching. Implement Taco Tuesday for your start-up and let us know how it goes. We'd love to hear "how you taco"!