As the confusion and uncertainty of COVID-19 wreaks havoc on small businesses, family-owned restaurants are struggling to retain customers amid lockdowns. For one restaurateur in Texas, a pandemic-related turndown in business nearly nearly spelled the end. That is, until his quick-thinking daughter stepped up and saved the family taco truck with the power of Twitter.
For the past six years, Elias Aviles has operated the Taqueria El Torito taco truck in Humble, Texas. However, his daughter Giselle told CBS DFW that the onset of the pandemic brought a sharp drop in business. The truck began pulling in as little as $20-$40 per day until September 12, when it only made $6.
“When he said $6, it was kind of like, ‘Are you kidding me?'” Giselle said of hearing the news from her father. She immediately knew she needed to take action — so she took to Twitter.
“I wouldn’t normally do this, but my dad’s taco truck business is struggling, he only [made] $6 today,” she tweeted. “If you could retweet, I would appreciate so much!!”
Hey Twitter!! I wouldn’t normally do this, but my dad’s taco truck business is struggling, he only sold $6 today. If you could retweet, I would appreciate you so much!! 💕— Giselle (@Liamchampaynee) September 12, 2020
Humble, TX 77346 pic.twitter.com/3LMeAPCbe9
“I just said well, we have nothing to lose, and I decided to made the tweet that day,” Giselle told local news.
To her surprise, the tweet received an overwhelmingly positive response, gaining more than 9,000 retweets within a few days. Many of the responses were from Humble locals raving about the food at Taqueria El Torito.
We’ve been looking for these tacos for the LONGEST time! Can’t wait to go again, best tacos ever 👌🏻— 🙂 (@Asstaafl) September 14, 2020
I literally thought this truck was gone. Was my fav truck when it was by Starbucks. Tacos were bomb. I had no idea it moved or where it moved to. I will stop by next time Im in Humble. Help your dad with marketing.— Shawn (@mrshawn16) September 14, 2020
The tweet even received responses from people far outside of Texas who were nevertheless inspired to support the cause.
I wish i could support it from the UK, let us know if he starts something we can send money to.— Eva Brum (@knowitallbutton) September 14, 2020
The following Monday morning, Elias arrived at his taco truck to find a line of customers, some of whom had been waiting for hours. Business was so strong for the rest of the day that the truck had to restock once before selling out completely by the end.
Please read!! 💕💕💕💕 pic.twitter.com/8dtUVyHjPV— Giselle (@Liamchampaynee) September 16, 2020
Since her tweet went viral, Giselle has announced that Taqueria El Torito is now hiring to help handle the sudden increase in orders. She has also started an official Instagram for her dad’s taco truck to increase the business’ online presence even more.