Taco Cabana: A Blast From The Past in a Bad Way

Before I start with this blog entry, I want to say that Taco Cabana does make good food overall and the service has always been decent. Where Taco Cabana royally fails at is being a participant in the 21st Century. As I said, their food is pretty decent so Victoria and I decided to get breakfast there.

Being that I wanted to write a positive blog entry about the place, I started taking pictures for it while waiting in line. In places like Austin, nobody really bats an eye at someone taking pictures with their cellphone. In more rural places like Marshfield, people may look at me weird. I’ve got used to this and know when to tell people I’m a travel blogger and looking to write a blog entry about the place. That weird looks instantly turns into an excited look since it’s rare that a lot of these places have blog entries written about them.

In some cases I’ve even had places reach out to me to visit, or after I posted the blog entry on Facebook they re-share it on their Facebook pages. In essence, the majority of people love to have their business blogged about and I also enjoy writing as many positive things as I can about places. I have actually been asked if I ever wrote a negative review and for the most part, I really haven’t. That doesn’t mean I’m just blindly positive and will only write positive things, but I’m typically looking for something that stands out that I can portray in a positive light.

With that, I will point out when something is way off. I had to take a cold shower at the Holiday Inn in Del Rio. The Hampton Inn in Port Charlotte, Florida’s service was horrible in terms of accommodating Victoria’s handicapped mom. For a place like El Taquito, I pointed out their food was good, but it wasn’t worth the almost 45 minute wait. I could point out a couple other places, but I do try to give a fair assessment of the place and make sure to paint it in as positive of a light as I can.

With that, Taco Cabana is living in 1985. When I went to take pictures, I was shortly told there was a no picture policy inside the restaurant. I was taking pictures with my iPhone SE and not an actual professional camera. Upon their request, I stopped taking pictures, but this kind of bugged me. I did not see any signs on the door saying no pictures inside the restaurant and I even looked on their website and didn’t find anything pertaining to a picture policy.

Still wanting to write a positive blog entry and thinking maybe the employee made in error telling me there was a no picture policy, I sent a message to their Facebook page on 11/18 at 10:43am:

“Hi. I went to the Taco Cabana at 12525 N Mopac Expy in Austin, TX today (11/18) at about 10:00am. I am a travel blogger who was looking to write a positive review of the restaurant since the food is good. Part of writing a blog entry is taking pictures of the restaurant. There were no signs on the door about no photography, but when I was taking pictures, the lady behind the counter told me there’s a no picture policy and told me to stop taking pictures.

This is a surprise to me as most restaurants allow you to take pictures and encourage sharing them, especially when it’s a positive reflection of the company. I am wondering if this is actually your corporate policy, is a policy of the specific franchisee, or was the employee wrong in telling me that I could not take pictures?

I did find the Mexicana plate to be pretty amazing and the service there was actually pretty expedient and good for the volume of people. I wanted to reflect that in my blog entry, but now I kind of feel like I did waste some money because now I’m effectively empty handed when it comes to pictures for a blog entry and the only thing I can really say if the food was good (which I didn’t take a picture of) and how Taco Cabana is unfriendly to bloggers and other users of social media.

Can you please clarify whether the company’s policy on taking pictures in the restaurant or whether it was a franchisee policy or an employee mistake? As I said, I would really like to write a positive blog entry about Taco Cabana, but if there is actually a no picture policy, I will have to mention how you are not friendly to social media users and bloggers.

For reference, this is my blog entry on Torchy’s and Taco Cabana’s would have been similar:

https://www.impulsivetravelerguy.com/torchys-tacos-round-rock-tx/

Additionally, I tried tried to google if there was a policy on no pictures and could not find anything.”

9 days later, I had no heard a response so I sent the following on 11/27 at 4:45PM:

“Just following up, what is the policy on taking pictures inside a Taco Cabana?”

They actually responded with the following shortly after:

“Hi Cody! Thank you so much for the kind words and we really appreciate your intentions.First, let me apologize for the delay in response. In this type of situation, the manager was following our Media Policy which states that anyone trying to take pictures of our restaurant for a media outlet would need to give our folks at Media Relations a call at 1-855-252-6440. They would be more than happy to assist you in the pictures you would need and further explain our policies. Thanks for reaching out. If we can be of any more help, please don’t hesitate to contact us back.”

I then responded with the following and didn’t receive a reply:

“I am actually not a media outlet. I am an independent blogger who hosts my own blog. So I’m assuming under Taco Cabana’s media policy I am considered a media outlet? I assumed that me taking pictures for my blog was no different than someone else taking pictures for online review sites such as Yelp or Google Reviews. Can you please clarify this so I can move forward? Additionally, if this is your policy, I did not see any signs on the door stating this policy.

Additionally, I was taking pictures with my iPhone SE and not an actual professional camera.”

All I can say is this company sucks at social media and participating in the 21st Century. First off, their response times suck. Because of this, I can now assume they are saying you cannot take pictures at all in their restaurant. That means anyone who takes a picture for a Yelp review or just wants to share on social media the meal they are having (yeah I know very stereotypical).

At very best, I can assume this company is just behind the times and has yet to enter the world of social media. This is kind of clear when I have to call a phone number (no email!?) to a media relations department. As a blogger, I’m not going to jump through those kind of hoops to merely write about the breakfast plate I ate.

At the very worst I am wondering what are they hiding? If they don’t want pictures to be taken, what are they hiding? Will the pictures reveal something that might warrant further inspection from the health department or why are they so adamant about people not taking pictures in an era where everyone has a camera in their pocket?

Taco Cabana, I respect your decision for people not to take pictures in your restaurant, but you do have to do something. Make sure you post something on the door basically saying you’re not a participant in the 21st Century. I’m sure there’s a market for that, but for this blogger I’m not a part of that market and you’ve lost a customer.

As for a reference for my readers, here is a picture taken outside the restaurant of their sign. The food isn’t bad here, but if you’re on a road trip and want to take pictures to share with people, stay clear of this place and drive a little bit further. This is actually the first place (and hopefully only) that I’ve blogged about who has taken this kind of stance.

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