Fuzzy's Taco Shop - Creating Value during Challenging Times

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is the taco king. They’ve become a trusted and respected business by providing specialty tacos to their customers and going the extra-mile to give back.

When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Fuzzy’s had to adapt to new norms and maintain their commitment to their customers under challenging circumstances.

In the latest episode of the Food on the Table podcast, we were joined by Kimberly Neil, the Director of Marketing of the four Fuzzy’s Taco Shop locations in St. Louis and the five locations in Columbia, MO. GiftAMeal is currently partnered with all four of the St. Louis locations in St. Charles, Westport Plaza, Manchester, and Webster Groves.

Neil set the scene for those who hadn't been to Fuzzy's:

“We’re not your average taco shop. It’s our version of taco heaven with unique drinks ... in a fast casual setting.”

As for the coolest drink you can get at Fuzzy's, they present you with a twist on the margarita: the beerita.

“We call them speciality beeritas. We have probably over 25 different concoctions on our drink menu, but we can make whatever you like with beer, champagne... Our most popular beerita is the Fuzzy Mike, and it’s a frozen strawberry margarita with Mike’s Hard Lemonade.”

Her favorite dish:

“The shrimp pico taco. You can either get it grilled or tempura. It is our queso that is drizzled over the shrimp with a fresh, corn pico. It’s really good, it was a limited time offering back in February, but we actually decided to keep it on the menu - hopefully forever!”

Neil then touched on the impact of COVID-19 and how their stores adapted. Their biggest change was related to the transition to operating under mainly to-go orders:

“Before the pandemic, our to-go sales were about 10%, and that quickly changed. At the beginning of the pandemic it went to 100% to-go … so we had to adjust our employees and how they worked, we had to order more to-go containers. Right now we’re at about 50-60%, so it's still a huge difference from what we’re used to.”

In a way, being forced to adapt led Neil to come up with ideas that will benefit Fuzzy’s customers for long-term.

“Other things that have changed were adding in family meals … We are still selling [those] and they’re such a great option for families to take home. Build-your-own taco kits are what I call them, so those became very popular.”

“The other big thing was cocktails to-go. Fuzzy’s is known for our drinks, and people couldn’t have them because we weren’t allowed to sell them to go. With all the laws changing, it was just an amazing thing, and it helped us a lot that we were allowed to sell alcohol to-go.”