How did it start? After being open for seven months, we wanted to boost dinner sales, so we picked Wednesday as a night to do an evening special. We kicked it off with our Southwestern Meatloaf and garlic mashed potatoes and went on to do a wide variety of dishes, from eggplant Parmesan to chile relleno chicken. Some nights were very successful _ the calzones. Others fell flat _ veal and grits. After nearly six months, Frank, on a whim said: “Let’s just do dollar tacos.”
What are they, exactly? Basic tacos _ seasoned ground beef, fresh lettuce and tomatoes, and shredded cheese. They come in a soft corn tortillas heated on the grill or hard shells warmed in the oven. That’s it. A buck each, and that includes the salsa. Very simple.
What was the customer reaction? The response was fantastic. We had a sellout our first night. It was better than all the other weekly specials put together. We had stumbled upon a real keeper.
Why just for dinner? Well, again, the idea is to boost evening sales and get people to think of Frank’s as a place to get dinner, not just lunch. So we start at 5:30 PM. Not 5, or 4:30 or 5:15. Starting at 5:30 gives us enough time to prepare after our lunch rush.
How many tacos does the average person order? Three or four. First timers are sometimes hesitant and may order just one or two. If they dine in, they often come back to the window and order a couple more. And then we have folks who come in and order enough tacos for the family or a group of friends.
What’s been the biggest order? We once had a request for 40 tacos. We strongly encourage customers to call ahead if they want large orders like that so we can make sure we prepare enough meat and toppings.
Do you prefer to sellout? We try to have enough tacos for the 2½-hour dinner service, but we also don’t want to have much left over at the end of the night. It’s a balancing act. We anticipate more for the first and 15th of every month, but you just never know.