The Kansas City Taco Trail now features 60 restaurants across Wyandotte County
Visit KCK relaunched the food rewards program this week to give newcomers and frequent visitors a chance to explore Wyandotte County via its eclectic Hispanic food culture. It has added new prizes for potential “Taco Champions.”
Just in time for the NFL Draft, the KCK Taco Trail is back. After completing its first run last year, the online passport program will pick up again from now until April 2024.
“The Taco Trail is our first of many initiatives to encourage people to visit the city of Kansas City, Kansas,” said Celeste Lupercio, director of Marketing and Community Engagement for Visit Kansas City Kansas.
“We decided this would be a great way to get people to explore those areas through a food challenge,” she said.
The revamped rewards program now includes 15 new restaurants, bringing the grand total to 60. The list spans every region of Wyandotte County.
It’s a new twist to the program that Lupercio said was purposeful.
“Most of the time people will visit Strawberry Hill on the east side, or they go way over to Village West for a Sporting match,” she said. “They tend to not really explore the middle of this city, and hopefully this program breaks that trend.”
Instead of downloading an app like in the first run, users can now check in to restaurants and earn points directly from the Taco Trail website, after signing up for an account.
Since most of the businesses are immigrant-owned, with primarily Spanish-speaking employees, Lupercio said, the easier check-in feature helps to not alienate them.
“We want to make it easy for them to get more business, and we don't have to worry about training their staff to use the app,” she said.
The game-like process of the trail draws more people to the city’s diverse Hispanic food scene, Lupercio said, and helps small businesses gain new customers.
“Cultural food is primary to their business, so we don't do any chain restaurants,” she said.
While most spots on the list are authentic Mexican food, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador and other culinary cultures are represented.
According to Lupercio, more updates are planned for the program for the Cinco de Mayo weekend.
“The grand prize is still to be determined, so we haven't revealed that yet,” Lupercio said. “But that's going to be revealed after the holiday weekend.”
“We have a couple of restaurants that offer $5 taco plates on Cinco and that'll be our way to get people to go out,” she said.