Anyone who has ever shipped cookies across the country only to have them arrive fractured, or experienced a smoothie explosion during their morning commute, knows: there are some foods that travel well and some that don’t. The tamale, packaged snug in a corn husk swaddle, and equally eager to be frozen or steamed upon arrival, is a savvy traveler by contrast.
Nobody knows this better than the team behind Pedro’s Tamales, a restaurant, production, and distribution operation in Lubbock, Texas. Dubbed the official Tamale of Texas by the governor, Pedro’s Tamales sells tamales online and ships nationwide while still running two booming grab-and-go restaurants.
Pedro’s Tamales started in 1977 as a small tamale kitchen. But the founder, Pete, had aspirations beyond just offering tamales for sale to locals. He had a vision to ship his tamales nationwide. Over time, they built up the infrastructure to start a shipping operation—including purchasing the domain “tamale.com” in 1999. These days, shipping specialty food items is so popular, many online customers don’t blink at a $100 deep dish pizza to remind them of Chicago. Pedro’s Tamales knew that for Texans living elsewhere, having an easy way to order tamales online would mean a taste of home is always only a click away.
While their tamale recipe has stood the test of time, the past 40 years have brought rapid change to the ecommerce industry and Pedro’s Tamales' online presence was due for a refresh. Their website was outdated and it was having an impact on their web traffic. Many of their online customers had been with them since the beginning—it was time to let the next generation know where to find tamales for sale online and expand their loyal following through marketing. Plus, their shipping process had become a cost burden for both Pedro’s Tamales and their customers.
“Before SpotOn, the shipping cost more than the product,” says Mark Mayfield, VP of Operations and whatever else happens to be on the to-do list.
Enter SpotOn. Pedro’s Tamales worked with SpotOn to create a more user-friendly small business website experience, authentic to their brand. “Everyone on the SpotOn website team has been nothing but fantastic,” says Mayfield. “They created a design that led to an increase in sales and fits who we are and what we’re trying to do. From one conversation, they took our vision and put it into place.”
Switching to selling online with SpotOn was a smooth process. - Mark Mayfield, VP of Operations, Pedro’s Tamales
Pedro’s Tamales update went beyond the cosmetic. Thanks to SpotOn’s shipping integration with Shippo, Pedro’s Tamales decreased shipping rates by 40%. This allowed the business to take full advantage of peak holiday shipping season and led to a 107% increase in shipping orders from the previous year.
Running a three-pronged business can feel like playing a game of whack-a-mole. Just as you solve a customer’s shipping issue, there’s onboarding for new staff at the production facility, plus you still need to make time to go over monthly profit and loss at the restaurant locations. Choosing SpotOn gave Pedro’s Tamales one tech provider for both their restaurant POS software and online store software, connecting them with a 24/7 personalized customer support team that understands how their business operates.
Everything has been seamless. Everyone from SpotOn that I’ve worked with has been very respectful, very professional, and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.” – Mark Mayfield, VP of Operations, Pedro's Tamales
You can’t sustain a business for 40-plus years on luck alone. For the team at Pedro’s Tamales, working with people they can trust has been key to their success. It doesn’t matter what your background is, or where you came from, all that matters is that you do the right thing for the right reasons. It’s not easy work making 50,000 tamales a day and shipping them nationwide but for the lucky folks with tamales on their doorstep, it is deeply appreciated.