It is exciting to see how different ventures adapt during times of crises. This is the case of Avidan Lebenthal, founder of Taco Mensch. Before the pandemic, he offered culinary experiences and taco tours in Mexico City. Now, he has transferred this experience to the virtual world so that people can continue enjoying the rich Mexican culinary heritage from their homes.
Avidan started his venture in March 2019. Thanks to his charisma and knowledge of local cuisine, in a short time he established himself in the Top 10% of experiences offered by Airbnb on his platform.
Keep reading to learn more about this project that has already received more than 400 tourists from around the world and how it has been reinvented its business model.
What is the project about?
Taco Mensch offers a culinary experience to groups of up to six people in Mexico City. Through food, visitors receive a local perspective and a glimpse into Mexico’s rich culture, past and present. Taco Mensch takes the place of a local friend in town that takes its guests to the most delicious, original, and interesting places in the city and saving them from all the tourist traps.
How did the idea come about?
Since I was kid I have been exposed to great food and great hospitality. My parents are great hosts but also amazing cooks. So, it was only natural for me to go and work in the restaurant business.
After 15 years working in the hospitality industry in various restaurants and in different positions, I started to question what I could do that would suit me the most as a person, and that I would also enjoy (considering the restaurant business is very demanding and absolute).
With the help of my girlfriend (at the time) and with some of my close friends, I came up with the idea of a new culinary tour business. It would involve taking tourists that come to CDMX to all my favorite taco spots around town to save them from all the tourist traps (there is a lot).
With a little bit of time and experience, I was able to refine my concept and make it better. I always tell my guests the tour is not about tacos. It is more about the connection we make through food.
After a year of business, I have had over 400 guests from all over the world on my tour.
What does Taco Mensch mean?
“Mensch” in German means human. In Yiddish (Jewish eastern European dialect) a “Mensch“ means a good person. My mother thought me that it doesn’t cost to be a mensch, so she always encouraged me to be one.
I think “mensch” describes the essence of who I am and where I come from. I also wanted to have some element in the name that will connect with my product, which is, gastronomic tour in Mexico City, hence the name “Taco Mensch”.
What are the next steps?
Unfortunately, due to the current situation with the COVID-19, I had to stop all my tours. Right now, I am working on converting my tour to a digital one so all quarantined people araound the world can still enjoy my experience from the comfort of their home.
I want to offer a quick getaway to Mexico City for everybody that have been cooped up in their home for the last couple of months. We are all experiencing strange times and all businesses are feeling the effect of it. That is why we all need to adapt and be creative.
I am very blessed and humbled by the fact that my experience is rated the top 10% in the world for expertise and for connection on the Airbnb platform. I hope I can continue to convey this amazing experience virtually.
What would you have liked to know before starting your business?
Before starting my own business I would have liked to have a better grasp on how to use social media. It’s such a powerful tool, especially in the tourism and food industry. I still have a lot to learn.
Tools that help you and every entrepreneur should know about
The two platforms that I use today for my business are “Airbnb experiences” and Instagram.
Airbnb is a great platform that I use to sell my tour. It generates the most traffic for my tour.
I really believe in Airbnb because I feel like it has revolutionized the way we travel. Today most travelers are looking for a more authentic experience when they travel. Airbnb allows you to immerse yourself in a local community when you rent an apartment/house. Even more so when you do experience with a local, you get an interaction that you probably wouldn’t have done if you were on your own.
Instagram is a very important tool today to constantly load relevant content. It also allows you to interact with your guests but most importantly with potential guests in the future.
“Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.”
― Shannon L. Alder
How to hire the tour:
If you want you own business to be features, you can contact Medialo Consulting at: firstname.lastname@example.org