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Del Taco Going Back to the Past with Old Color Scheme

San Juan Capistrano is only "one or two" of cities nationwide not to approve the new palette.

This is how the Del Taco in San Juan Capistrano used to look. And how it will look again soon. Patch file photo.
This is how the Del Taco in San Juan Capistrano used to look. And how it will look again soon. Patch file photo.

More than 400 Del Taco restaurants made the switch in the past year to brighter exterior colors in a nationwide rebranding, but only “one or two” of them is making the switch back – San Juan Capistrano’s one of them.

The Planning Commission voted 4-0, with Roy Nunn absent, to revert back to the chain’s previous color palette with peach tones and terracotta.

Commissioners said they felt like they had little choice. Representatives from Del Taco – which acknowledged painting the restaurant without first asking permission – had only offered three choices:

  • Stick with the current colors
  • Accept the colors proposed in September with a similar palette but less intense
  • Revert back to the original

“We’re back to square one again,” said Commissioner Ian Gardiner.

Commissioner Evan Chaffee said he was disappointed to be put in the position of few options. The Planning Commission assigned the matter to an ad-hoc subcommittee to come up with a solution, not end up where they started.

Chairman Sheldon Cohen agreed: “The purpose of setting up an ad-hoc committee, at least in my mind, is to expeditiously get through a review [to] an approval. Here we are four, five months later with not much to look at.”

But Mark Raber, representing Del Taco, said the city wanted the chain to deviate too much from their corporate image.

“Any further investigating probably wouldn’t yield any colors … you would like to see and also marry our brand image,” he said, adding that the San Juan Capistrano restaurant’s sales have picked up since the color change.

A Del Taco spokesman, Joshua Levitt, said only a handful of cities have had a problem with the new colors. Of the few that did, most of them – like Mission Viejo – found a more subdued version acceptable.

“In one or two instances, such as with our San Juan Capistrano restaurant, the best compromise was to return the restaurant to its original colors,” he said.

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Elizabeth Perrin January 17, 2014 at 10:45 AM
I never noticed that we even had a Del Taco until they painted it!
bill odel January 17, 2014 at 02:37 PM
6000 stores in America and only 1 store in SJC has to be a different color because the locals don't like the way it looks. This says a great deal about SJC and its not positive for business in the future. Franchise companies will take notice of this and go elsewhere. Again a few making in bad for SJC.
d January 17, 2014 at 03:59 PM
Agreed, Bill Odel. SJC is being RIDICULOUS acting like their wants are more important than supporting local businesses. No wonder they painted it w/out asking...our reputation is that bad. SJC planning commission needs to live in the now and right now we need businesses to want to be here.
Tornado Johnson January 19, 2014 at 01:59 PM
Why are we required to look like every other city in the United States with the same franchises in every city ? Del taco had a choice when they built the building. They CHOSE to not follow what was approved by the Planning Commission and the city. They CHOSE to not have it approved by the Planning Commission and the city before they made the changes. I know it is tough for you boys to follow the law, I understand and that is why we have laws.
BassMasta January 24, 2014 at 10:44 PM
This is a prime example of how mismanaged San Juan is... This is a city stuck in the past. Del Taco Corp has obviously done plenty of research on what colors increase sales and presumably the city gets a slice of that, so why wouldn't this cash-strapped city want to facilitate higher sales at a local business? Why force them to return to boring 90's beige and potentially lose business? They already have the spanish clay roof and palm trees as required, just let them keep the new colors!

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