What began in 2009 as two friends and neighbors and a food cart on an Arlington, VA street corner, is now District Taco, a thriving chain of fourteen Mexican food restaurants. Celebrating thirteen years in business, this month, District Taco will be selling their ten millionth taco, Friday, July 15. Offering fresh cuisine from Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, the Metro D.C.-based company is poised for significant growth in the coming year as it continues to reach several significant milestones.
“At the beginning, we had no idea what we were doing,” says co-founder and CEO, Osiris Hoil. “We just knew that we wanted to share some good food and a different Mexican flavor with others. I never imagined that we would reach one million tacos sold, let alone ten million.”
The company expects to sell their ten millionth taco during the second week of July. The customer who purchases that taco will be welcomed with fanfare and awarded with one free taco, every day for a year, along with the title “Top Taco,” bestowed only to the company’s VIPs, and will be featured on the District Taco website.
Adds Hoil, “This is an exciting accomplishment for me and my business partner, Marc Wallace. We purchased the cart and offered the food and flavors I grew up making with my mom in Yucatán. We quickly realized that we were achieving the American Dream and could even help others - our team - do the same. Today, I’m honored that my family’s recipes and the ingredients that make them unique have provided so many customers with food they enjoy and so many employees with opportunities to succeed.”
Today, District Taco works directly with select vendors to customize the spice profile of their proteins, locally sources produce from neighboring farms, hand-roasts tomatoes and chiles in-store, and continues to make their menu items from scratch, every day.
In addition to authentic and affordable Mexican food, the brand has also become known for a number of innovative business solutions, including a sustainability program with Too Good To Go, a plant-based protein option from Beyond Meat, and technology that will help position them as leaders in the restaurant industry. That technology includes a custom mobile app, online ordering, self-service kiosks, an order tracking system, a world-class point-of-sales system, and backend integrations that streamline operations, accounting, HR, admin, and brand management.
Demonstrating the brand’s core values, they also provide significant support to the communities in which they operate. They often contribute food donations to schools, caregivers, first responders, essential workers and others in need. They have established an ongoing employee scholarship program, are spearheading efforts to generate baby formula donations across the country, and recently sponsored Mike Wardian’s run across America to help World Vision provide clean water.
Photography: Ryan DeLesDernier