Local Heroes

El Mostacho: How a small restaurant managed to become one of the best Mexican joints in Dubai

November 27, 2022

“I use Otter to keep track of our restaurant’s delivery data. It's critical for me. As a marketer and an eCommerce expert, I need to know what the trends are and use the data to our advantage. So it’s really great!”

Nestled in between the massive buildings of Jumeirah Lakes Towers in Dubai, you can find El Mostacho, a restaurant that encompasses Mexico's genuine spirit. El Mostacho, or Elmo for the regulars, was inspired by two Mexican brothers who were looking to bring authentic home-cooked Mexican food to Dubai and set themselves apart from others through amazing tacos and Latin hospitality. We spoke with Roy, the General Manager of El Mostacho, to discuss how the restaurant uses its size to its advantage—and how they are thriving through delivery.

Making the best of a small space 

If you ask any of El Mostacho’s regulars, they’ll surely tell you that you can’t find better Mexican food anywhere in the city. But what truly sets them apart from the rest is Elmo’s exceptional service. “The two Mexican brothers that inspired El Mostacho wanted to make something special. They wanted to actually make it so that when people come and eat here, they feel at home. They wanted their clients to feel like they were eating food that was prepared with love and care, they want their clients to feel something when they come to the restaurant. We feel like we have a special connection with our clients.”

When it first opened in 2018, one of the main challenges that El Mostacho encountered was getting noticed, especially considering that the venue is very small compared to other restaurants in Dubai. To tackle that problem they came up with two solutions. Firstly, to make the best Mexican food in the city and bring authentic Mexican hospitality to its service. Secondly, to use marketing and social media to get noticed and generate buzz.

“The problem we had is that the space is small, so, not everybody knew about us. The way we managed to overcome this issue is with marketing and spreading the word.” Roy tells us that they greatly rely on their client's experience to spread the word either through word of mouth or via their social channels, especially on Instagram. “We have a really good reputation, we have great reviews. We have a very loyal customer base. The clients we have always come back, they love to talk about us, because we make sure that everything we do is as good as possible. That includes the food and the service. Our clients’ experience has really helped us grow. They talk about us, they share on social media and we’ve been able to grow a following of 13.5k on Instagram thanks to them.” 

Tracking data has helped Elmo maintain that close relationship with their customer by identifying key insights and trends that helped them take their service to the next level. Roy tells us that he uses Otter’s Business Manager to keep track of his business and to inform his marketing activities. “I use Otter to keep track of our restaurant’s delivery data. It's critical for me. As a marketer and an eCommerce expert, I need to know what the trends are and use the data to our advantage. So it’s really great!”

Taking control of delivery alongside Otter

When you hear that a restaurant has a limited dine-in area, as a restauranteur you directly think that they must be making all of their business from food delivery, especially in this post-pandemic world we live in. El Mostacho loves having dine-in clients, so much so that they’ve even struck a deal with their neighbouring restaurant to seat some of their clientele, but not being on delivery platforms would be a mistake in this day and age. Elmo is currently listed on all major delivery platforms in the UAE, including Deliveroo, Zomato and Talabat, and they use Otter’s Order Manager to aggregate their online delivery orders onto one easy-to-use tablet. Otter has relieved the El Mostacho staff of the burden of dealing with multiple tablets, manually accepting orders and keeping tabs on different delivery services, so that they can focus on taking care of their customers and sharing their passion for Mexican cuisine. 

Of course, using delivery platforms has incredible advantages, but it also has its downsides. One that was quickly pointed out by Roy is the commissions. “We prefer to deal with the clients directly instead of going through a delivery platform because they charge and they get a big piece of the cake.” In order to circumvent that aspect of delivery, El Mostacho relied on its significant Instagram following and loyal client base to launch its direct-to-consumer delivery site through Otter’s partner Chatfood. From there, clients can order directly from the restaurant without going through a delivery app and all the orders are integrated into Otter alongside the orders that are coming through platforms such as Careem or Deliveroo.

How to support El Mostacho:

If you’re in Dubai and want to have the best churros in town, here’s how you can: 

Visit: 📍: JLT - Cluster I - Silver Tower Dubai, UAE 

Order Online: Deliveroo, Zomato, Talabat

Direct Order: El Mostacho 

Follow:  Instagram: @elmostachotacos

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