Tacos 4 Life opened its first Memphis-area restaurant on Tuesday.
The Arkansas-based chain is known for its fresh and flavorful fare, as well as its philanthropy.
Tacos 4 Life was launched in 2014 in Conway, Arkansas, by a couple on a mission to end world hunger. Entrepreneurs Austin and Ashton Samuelson developed a fast-casual dining concept that feeds the hungry, both the paying and the poor.
Tacos 4 Life owner Lisa Clifft inside her new restaurant which opens its doors in Collierville on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. The restaurant is partnered with Christian nonprofit Feed My Starving Children, matching the purchases of meal orders with donations to create packaged meals for food insecure children around the world. (Photo: Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal)
The new Memphis-area restaurant is located at 3565 S. Houston Levee Rd. in Collierville. It is the 18th for the brand and the second Tacos 4 Life in Tennessee. The first opened in Jackson in 2018.
The way Tacos 4 Life works is simple — for every taco, quesadilla, nacho tray, salad or rice bowl sold, 24 cents is donated to Feed My Starving Children, the restaurant’s nonprofit partner. The cost is equivalent to that of one meal for a hungry child.
What you can expect to eat
The menu at this fast-casual dining concept features fresh, made-from scratch dishes.
Tacos are the star, with four options for shells – including their signature “Puffy” taco shell. “The “Puffy” is a crispy flour tortilla shell that is fried until light, crispy, and – of course – puffy.
Over a dozen gourmet tacos are offered on the menu.
Customer favorites include items like Blackened Mahi Mahi tacos with a citrus slaw and tomato aioli and Carnitas made with citrus and cumin slow-roasted pork, house-made queso, cabbage and cilantro.
A classic beef and grilled chicken pairing at Tacos 4 Life which opens its doors in Collierville on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. The restaurant is partnered with Christian nonprofit Feed My Starving Children, matching the purchases of meal orders with donations to create packaged meals for food insecure children around the world. (Photo: Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal)
Rice bowls made with cilantro pesto rice, salads, quesadillas and nachos are also available.
The restaurant also offers six freshly made sides, including creamed corn and refried black beans with chipotle sour cream.
Family packs are also available. Catering will be added to the offerings in the coming weeks.
How the restaurant came to town
Lisa Clifft is the franchisee of the new Collierville Tacos 4 Life location. She is the first female franchisee for the Arkansas-grown taco restaurant.
Clifft will run the restaurant with her daughters Taylor, Hannah and Meagan.
Clifft, who lives in Eads, said she made the decision to open in Collierville because she “felt confident that Collierville will embrace the concept and mission of Tacos 4 Life.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Lisa and her daughters to open another location in Tennessee,” said Austin Samuelson, co-founder of Tacos 4 Life. “Lisa’s passion for our mission and experience in restaurant operations will allow her to thrive as a franchisee and continue expanding our mission throughout the country.”
Clifft has worked in restaurant operations for 36 years, most recently serving as director of operations for Century Management LLC. In this role, Clifft was responsible for the largest operator organization of restaurants in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi and participated in expansion activities. She was awarded the Excellence in Leadership Award from McDonald’s Corporation.
Clifft first visited the Tacos 4 Life in Little Rock in July 2018. At the time, she was looking for a new opportunity as her job was ending due to the sale of the company for whom she worked.
“After my first visit at Tacos 4 Life I knew that I had to get involved with this brand,” said Clifft. “With our mission, running a restaurant means so much more, and the opportunity to help others and feed children was a no-brainer for me. I am truly blessed to have this opportunity and to run the restaurant alongside my daughters will be so rewarding.”
Tacos 4 Life is located in a new freestanding building in the Gallina Centro Shopping Center. At almost 4,000 square feet, the restaurant has seating for 122 in the dining room, and 26 more on the patio. Due to Covid-19, the seating is currently limited to 50% capacity.
Tacos 4 Life which opens its doors in Collierville on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. The restaurant is partnered with Christian nonprofit Feed My Starving Children, matching the purchases of meal orders with donations to create packaged meals for food insecure children around the world. (Photo: Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal)
Clifft said she plans to open for dine-in only initially. Online ordering and catering will come later. “Once we have perfected our service,” she explained.
Clifft added that she is excited to help make a difference. “This summer, the company reached over 15 million meals donated in just six years. Our goal is to help end childhood hunger.”
Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining Reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.
At a glance
Tacos 4 Life
Where: 3565 S. Houston Levee Rd, Collierville
Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday – Thursday; 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sundays.
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