TJ® Kitchen

Some might say a job in the Taco John’s Test Kitchen is one of the best in the world. Follow our Corporate Chef Bob Karisny and his team members Sissy and Carl as they stir up new menu creations and research today’s food trends. They might even throw in a few recipes.

Carl Blackbird, Test Kitchen Chef, Taco John's®

I first was in a restaurant kitchen when I was 14. Ever since that day I couldn’t get making food for others out of my blood. I tried other things but none gave me the same great feeling. It’s a job I never stop learning at and love learning at, one delicious bite after another.

Sissy Kramer, Research Manager, Taco Johns®

My start in fast food was back at the tender age of 17 years old. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and needed to pay my rent. Low and behold, 28 years later (it would be rude to do that math, you know) here I am.


Brett, Matthew and Harold, along with their teacher Mrs. Munroe, spent the day at the Taco John's® Franchise Support Center on Wednesday, May 21 to continue developing their winning entry - Fiery Cornbread Bites. They are the 2013-2014 Taco John's West Mex® Culinary Competition team from Encampment High School. Aside from winning scholarship money, the team was invited back to Cheyenne to work with Carl, Bob and me to get their menu item ready for the next step: research.

Flamin' Hot® Cheetos® Burrito creation = Lots of collaboration

So what does it take to make a menu item featuring an iconic ingredient like Flamin Hot® Cheetos® snacks? Lots of collaboration.

One of the first things we needed to learn was the characteristics of the Cheetos® brand. Their brand team shared with us the physical, emotional, attitudinal, sensory and behavioral characteristics their brand invokes. With this information we built prototypes that paired these attributes with our Taco John’s® characteristics. These prototypes were shared with the Pepsi/Frito-Lay innovation team to get their feedback.

Prepare for Greatness!

Something exciting is happening at Taco John's® today! Last year, Carl created a new menu item that includes Flamin' Hot® Cheetos® snacks. After conducting research with our guests, with the restaurant teams, and partnering with our vendors on the best prices available, we are happy to introduce the Flamin' Hot® Cheetos® Burrito!

Shrimp Tacos

Growing up in Wyoming, I only thought of tacos two ways –crispy or soft and they should be filled with one of two things: beef or chicken. I had no point of reference for seafood in a taco. Fortunately, years later on a trip to California I had my first shrimp taco and it was amazing!


Wyoming ProStart Competition

Taco John’s® is a not just a business; in the cities where we’re located, we are a neighbor. Our franchisees and Support Center employees are very involved in our communities. So much so that at the Taco John’s® Support Center in Cheyenne we are encouraged to do volunteer work, and Taco John’s® pays us for our time doing it.

Life Goals

Recently, I went to a goal-setting workshop where we focused on our life goals using the SMART business goals model. Asking myself what I want to be doing in one, five, ten and 20 years really made me think.

Movie Magic by Kurt

Have you ever seen flying vegetables, floating pizza crusts, or tumbling French Fries in TV commercials and wondered how it happens? Well, it’s all due to guys like Prop Master Kurt Thoresen. Kurt builds the gadgets that help create “food ballet” for some of Taco John’s® TV commercials.



Nacho Cheese And Flash

It is hard to look anywhere in our lives and not see the hand of technology helping us do things better. At Taco John’s®, we blend foods made in our restaurant with those made in food manufacturing plants. Technology in food manufacturing has allowed us to produce menu ingredients that are of excellent quality, consistency and are as good as what I could have made in our restaurants. Our food manufacturing “teammates” are an extension of our kitchen and take their contributions to great guest meals at Taco John’s® very seriously.