Content brand of the week: Wahaca, the Mexican restaurant chain with a spicy content offer

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Is that the Maori war dance they do at rugby matches?

Close, that’s ‘the Haka’. Wahaca is a restaurant. We’d characterise their offer as ‘Mexican street food with an urban London edge’. The chain has been growing steadily since its creation in 2007, and successfully surfed the wave of demand for Mexican food.

As in sizzling platters, melty cheese, and other Tex-Mex glories to fuel a night of cheap Tequila?

No – the emphasis here is on authentic regional fare. In the words of the (decidedly un-Mexican) founder, Thomasina Miers, ‘I started Wahaca because I genuinely thought Mexican food was the biggest global culinary secret and I wanted people to know that Tex-Mex wasn’t real Mexican.’ Born in Cheltenham, Ms Miers first found recognition when she appeared on Masterchef. Instead of drawing on a direct heritage, the brand builds a feeling of authenticity by producing content that is relevant to its consumer, backed up by a solid visual identity. The only chink in Wahaca’s armour could be its not so mobile-friendly website.

Is that a Flash website I see before my eyes? I thought these things were outlawed by the Geneva Convention?

I wouldn’t go that far. Although it’s true that Flash has been outstripped by HTML5 in recent years as the programming language of choice for web developers, Wahaca’s overall content offer is still packed with delicious goodies.

Ok amigo, what’s on the menu?

The brand has a magazine printed and distributed in its stores every six months, whish is also available online as a free download. The content mix includes recipes, interviews with street artists, as well as features on bands with a Central American flavour.

Sounds great, but is twice a year really enough to build up a loyal following?

Possibly not, but if you’re after a more regular content fix, a visit to the Wahaca blog also offers plenty of tasty morsels. The brand runs regular competitions, posts news and publicises events (film screenings, tequila tastings) run by itself and by third parties. Wahaca also recently teamed up with Altos, a premium tequila brand, to create some video content around Mexican mixology.

Sounds ‘muy delicioso’ to me. Is all this content helping the brand grow?

It would certainly seem like the people of London have a hunger for what Wahaca has to offer, as the chain is opening new sites all the time. Most excitingly from a content marketing perspective is their new take-out restaurant, which will have its own app to let consumers place their order in advance of arriving at the store. We’re anticipating – in light of the brand’s existing approach – that they’ll include added-value content to further engage hungry customers and drive loyalty.

Ay caramba!

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Author: Tom Owen

A strategic storyteller and compelling content creator, awash with acuity and adept at alliteration. I work for Speak Media. www.speakmedia.co.uk

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