Issue #17: The Purpose Driven Taco
Most cities have at least several taquerias and Pleasanton, California is no exception.  Filling the gap between a fine dining establishment and fast food, these more casual and family-run establishments make it easy to fulfill the “can you get some tacos on the way home?” request as dinnertime approaches.  

Some of my TeeTime blogs push readers to think about their practices not just as businesses but as places that exist with a higher purpose; medical practices in particular have the opportunity to define “what business are we in?” in a way that speaks to the transformative nature of really good healthcare.   The audiologist who tells people “we are in the communications business” is a solid example.
So is one of our local tacquerias, Two Amigos .  

Their motto “mi casa es su casa” is a common Spanish phrase that welcomes visitors by proclaiming  my house is your house.    

 Once inside, as you step up to place your order, you see how they live out this motto everyday with a larger purpose.  
Right next to the cash register, you can’t help but notice a small board with clips and food receipts.  Turns out these are meals that have been purchased by patrons on behalf of others.  Once posted, a receipt can be redeemed by anyone who walks in.  

“Is this to help feed the homeless? Who uses these?” I asked while waiting for my breakfast burrito. “Everybody,” according to Jose, the owner who was doing double duty taking orders and running the grill as the place had just opened that. He went on to tell me that a lot of people show up that just don’t have money that day or are a bit short on funds.   Busboys, laborers, single mothers…the list goes on.   All are highly appreciative, and many return to similarly buy a meal in advance for someone else that may be in need.

“This is about paying it forward,” he said.    I couldn’t agree more and find myself participating by spending a little more each time I stop in at Two Amigos, receiving the joy of writing a few words of encouragement on the receipt before posting it.    

If the board happens to be empty and someone needs a meal, “we feed them” Jose told me.    “I’m not going to miss a few taco platters.”   

In a world full of taco places, Two Amigos stands out.  Yes, their food is good (especially the homemade salsa), but it’s the core values at work that really make it unique and memorable.   They don’t have a website or any fancy mission statement posted on the wall; that meal board is their  “mi casa es su casa” mission in action!      

So once again, I ask you to consider what business are you  really in?   Exploring this question will likely lead to a deeper sense of purpose connecting you to why you started or work for a practice in the first place.   Put that knowledge to work in some way that benefits others beyond your core offering, and you will experience more human kindness in return than you could ever imagine.  
Recent Writing:

What defines a well-run practice? - May 16 Healio medblog

Why private equity matters - April 11 Healio medblog

Facts Matter - March 21 TeeTime blog

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About "TeeTime"
Shareef Mahdavi has devoted his career to helping doctors enhance their practices through technology, patient experience, and better financial outcomes.

TeeTime  provides answers to specific pain points within medical practices, offering advice and solutions from companies that have been reviewed and evaluated by SM2 Strategic.