Taco John's is turning 50 and bringing back .69 cent tacos

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CHEYENNE, Wyo - Taco John’s is turning 50! Jim Creel President and CEO of Taco John’s stopped by the morning show.

Taco John’s is one of the largest quick service Mexican restaurants in the country with nearly 400 franchises in 23 states. Taco John's started as a taco shack in Cheyenne.

Local businessmen Jim Woodson and Harold Holmes saw the potential and bought the taco shack and named their restaurant after the person who started the taco shack -- John. When Taco John's started (in 1969), Harold and Jim used to fly over towns in the upper midwest to determine where they would like to have franchises. When they saw an interesting town, they landed the plane and recruited franchisees.

Many of those franchisees are still alive today and active in their respective franchises. Some franchisees are celebrating their own 50-year mark with the company.

Taco John's signature menu item, Potato Olés, was invented in the late 70s. Originally, the Potato Olé had filling inside (either refried beans, sour cream, or salsa). Problem was, the filling got too hot when cooked and ended up burning people. So they retooled it without the filling and the popularity of the menu item exploded.

Taco John's came up with the phrase "Taco Tuesday" and they own the trademark. Taco John's has been recognized nationally for their marketing efforts with some of the most famous jingles ever produced -- including Whole Lot of Mexican and Once We Getcha, Then we Gotcha. Taco John's also purchased the rights to the song Feliz Navidad -- which is heard during the holidays every year.

Taco John's has donated tens of millions of dollars to charity across the country. Here in Wyoming, Taco John's has been very active in suicide prevention efforts, the United Way, the Cheyenne Symphony, numerous schools, and its support of the Black Dog Animal Rescue.

Taco John's is unique in that many of their employees at its headquarters have been at the company for over 30 years. Taco John's has always focused on the quality of the food. Taco John's always ranks at the very top of restaurant taste-test evaluations.

In Cheyenne, on Tuesday June 4, only, Taco John's is rolling back the price on their tacos to 69 cents -- in honor of its founding in 1969.

Wyoming News Now morning anchor Kayla Dixon badgered Jim Creel for the secret seasoning on the Potato Ole's watch the interview to see if she was successful.