New Contemporary Mexican Restaurant Grows Awareness Through Nextdoor
In 2015, Jorge Manon moved to the United States from Mexico and settled down in the Las Vegas area. Immediately, he noticed what the region was missing: a Mexican restaurant that represented true contemporary Mexican cuisine. Wanting to share the flavors of Mexico with his new community, in partnership with his sister Adriana, Jorge opened Tortas Vegas. With a focus on fast casual Mexican food, the menu is based on traditional dishes prepared in a modern way.
Tortas Vegas features a variety of tortas, including a Carne Asada Torta and Pastor Adobo Tortita.
In early 2020, as shelter-in-place orders went into effect around the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, Jorge knew he needed to quickly pivot his business. He began offering curbside order/pickup service that, along with an online, third-party app and phone ordering, would support his customers’ needs. While every other business nearby in the same shopping center had to close down, Tortas Vegas was able to remain open.
Tortas Vegas reopened their dining room in May 2020, when shelter-in-place orders were lifted. According to Jorge, that’s actually when he saw business slow down. Jorge turned to his Nextdoor Business Page to reach local customers in the community.
“To begin with, the sense of belonging to a neighborhood that you get through Nextdoor is unmatched. It’s like jumping into a virtual neighborhood that I otherwise wouldn't be able to access. I have the ability to communicate with all of our neighbors and can eventually reach out to offer our food.”
Jorge now uses both Business Posts and Local Deals to reach his neighborhood. He has touted items from a “secret menu” and a daily happy hour, and he's currently offering Nextdoor neighbors a free guac and chips with a $25 purchase.
“Even though we’re a newer business, because of our activity on Nextdoor, people are aware we’re here, and eventually they may become customers. We know that we’re reaching the people closest to our business who are most likely to stop by our restaurant, especially now that people are trying to stay closer to home [due to the pandemic].”
Tortas Vegas restaurant manager Jorge ran a Local Deal to promote a new happy hour that would reach his closest customers.
While most things look differently these days due to the pandemic, one thing that hasn’t changed is the value of a relationship with one’s local community. As neighbors continue to stay close to home, Jorge takes the following steps to nurture and continue to grow his relationships with the local community:
He offers points with every purchase. Whenever a customer makes a purchase, they get a code printed on their receipt. They then text the code to a number and the reward points are saved to be used toward free items.
He sends email updates to his customer mailing list that outline new items and special promotions.
As a new business owner, the pandemic has created challenges for Jorge, but it’s also been an opportunity to learn. He shared his most impactful learnings that other local businesses can benefit from:
Despite the hardships, there is opportunity. "These extraordinary times have collectively changed our way of living. We have been exposed to a common threat to our way of life – to our health, to our jobs, to our businesses, to our wellbeing. We truly are all in this together and we have to pull through together as neighbors, as friends. This is our chance to meet that reclusive neighbor, to check on your elderly neighbors and see if they have needs, to check on your local small business."
Lean into your family. "I was overwhelmed with pride and joy when my children stepped up and volunteered their time. My 13 year-old son Jordi is helping me with accounting and my 15 year-old daughter Mariana helps as a hostess and cashier on weekends."
Your community wants to see you succeed. "We donated Tortas to our local hospital and the people I talked to were very grateful and kind. Days later, some of them showed up at the restaurant and refused to take advantage of the free meals we offered to medical personnel. Instead, they told me they were grateful we were open and wanted to show support to us and other small restaurants."
With Tortas Vegas’s presence on Nextdoor, Jorge can tap into his neighborhood for support – and likewise, support his community.