It’s very rare to find someone who hasn’t heard of TaterQue these days, whether they’ve been there or not. This restaurant, which seems like an overnight success to some, has been putting in the work for years to reach its current level of popularity and success. While doing so, the eatery has also become a staple place of fellowship and fun, or, as the locals say, pfun in Pflugerville.
TaterQue is owned by husband-and-wife duo Bobby and Bobbie Mack. In 2016, Bobby was sitting at the lunch table with his fellow welders and was craving a big stuffed potato. He realized the closest one was over 15 miles away in Elgin. His friends told him to “do something about it,” to which he replied that if he ever opened a restaurant, he would sell loaded potatoes.
The TaterQue idea was born in 2016 when Bobby headed down to get a DBA (Doing Business As). Then, life happened, postponing the duo from launching right away. Fast forward to 2020, when the Macks took the leap and opened their food truck amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Macks are both original Austinites, and their hometown roots are reflected in the names of their mega spuds, such as the Big Jack which is named in honor of Bobby’s high school coach, “Coach Jack,” who played a major part in shaping his life and instilled a lot of wisdom. The Alamo is named after the City of Austin recreation center they often frequented, and the Givens is a Sunday-only spud because they used to frequent Givens Park as kids on Sundays.
Now, in 2023, the Macks have opened their first brick-and-mortar restaurant, located on FM 685 in Pflugerville. The menu has also grown since TaterQue’s inception, offering spuds, wings, catfish, sandwiches, and more. Still, the best seller is the Big Jack, which is their 3-meat-loaded baked potato.
That’s not all this space offers, though. Patrons come for the food and stay for the atmosphere with events like weekend brunch, karaoke nights, mixers, and more.
There were several obstacles we had to overcome, and we continue to learn as we go.
When asked about any hardship the restaurateurs had to face during their journey, Bobbie Mack stated, “Whew, yes! There were several obstacles we had to overcome, and we continue to learn as we go. Some of the obstacles we have had to overcome were working with contractors and understanding the permitting process because not understanding that process created delays in our opening.”
The advice the Macks would give to their peers on the path to opening a food truck or brick-and-mortar location is to do their research.
“Research, research, research as much as you can, and find a mentor that has opened a space like what you plan to open so you can get advice to avoid some of the beginner’s trial and error and potentially costly mistakes,” said Bobbie.
Lastly, they recommend loving what you do and loving hospitality and the industry overall. “Restaurant businesses are rated as the top 5 most difficult businesses to open and sustain because you will have to wear many hats at any given time. However, if you love what you do, it will all be worth it,” Bobbie stated.
When it comes to plans to expand, expansion is the vision, but the goal is to create opportunities for other aspiring restaurant owners. There will be more information on that in the future, along with several other new ideas and opportunities.