THE COMPROMISE: An Update on the Napkin Situation

So, the stance on the napkin situation is fairly divided, as you’ll see from the comments on the previous blog post.

Some of the responses were really sweet! ^__^ And others ranged from amusing, to putting the ‘dic’ in ridiculous. (I hope this has people who are in favor of puns snickering.)

Anyway, after much debate (OVER NAPKINS!!! SOOOO RIDICULOUS!!!!111ONEONE), the council hath decided: we shall be rationing napkins like one would ration food stamps, bread or water in times of uncertainty.

1-2 napkins per order. That’s IT.

If there are further complaints, then, again, the people hath spoken, and we shall return the napkins, radishes, oranges, limes, sporks, aluminum foil and bags in exchange for an increase in prices.

::throws up hands::

Sorry, we tried! Can’t say we didn’t!

And for all of you napkin hoarders and fiends, especially the ones who demanded napkins be on any trucks and all trucks “in the U S of A” (and I QUOTE), I do have a song to celebrate the festive occasion:

Or perhaps this video is more appropriate??

Thank you, thank you, everyone, for all your input, feedback and comments! (( H U G )) It’s strangely cool AND amusing to see so much contention and passion over the subject of napkins, something we normally take for granted and more of than we actually need.

Speaking of amusing, I received some random Spam the other day, which I found kinda cute for some reason:

As obnoxious and annoying and aggravating as I find Spam 99.999% of the time, this one made my heart melt. It must be a combination of the adoraber Engrish and hopeful friendliness: “best quality, best service, lowest price! my friends, waiting for you!”

I can’t help but wish him well. ^__^

Love and tacos,


32 Responses to THE COMPROMISE: An Update on the Napkin Situation

  1. DK says:

    I used to pick up food from the truck on a whim on my way home. With no bags and no foil, my trips to the truck will be on hiatus. Can’t transport that stuff without it.

  2. DK says:

    How about add $.50 for to go orders and pack them up for us rather than having all that stuff sitting out front? Or raise the bloody taco prices to $2.50. It’s not a big fucking deal!

  3. funkyfauna says:

    Sounds like a good compromise. I visited a truck in Signal Hill on Saturday, and like a good girly, brought my own napkins and utensils. However, I don’t think anyone else there got the message and there were some angry folk walking around wondering why no napkins. Because not everyone will get the message, I do think it’s a good idea to ration the paper products. After all, wouldn’t want to scare off a passer-by who could become a repeat Kogi-customer. Anyhoo…good luck with the cost-cutting efforts!

  4. Darkflight says:

    Yay compromise is good. 🙂 Now can we all get along and be happy Kogi loving fanatics as always? 🙂

    I hope your tacos never have to go more than $2.50 ever (or $6 for a burrito). Hopefully gas prices will come back to earth… [Who’s up for hijacking a tanker on the behalf of Kogi?]

    On a side note, is it possible to sell the difference sauces from the truck like you do at Chego? I love buying a bottle every now and then but driving to DTLA/WLA. (OC/DBar)

  5. mawnck says:

    Suitably compromised.

    Now, about the radishes …. 😉

  6. Shane says:

    I’m more curious as to why two trucks are out of service. I’ve always got napkins in my car.

  7. Mar says:

    Napkins are needed especially when u order the heavenly quesadillas.. Those thing a dripping with awesome sauce. I really don’t have I solution to the issue but limiting the napkins is not the way to go. We need them after eating your awesome food!

  8. JeanPierre says:

    To all that will venture and talk fudge about the decisions on the napkins, etc …

    A few wetwipes and a spork is all one needs, so stop *censored by author* about it and get your own!

    If you do not have napkins or wetwipes in your car or on you when you go out -purposefully- to a food truck, then you deserve the Darwin Award for making a revolution, in your evolution!

    After spending countless hours handling everything from doorknobs to paper money during your day, how do you go about holding food in those same hands and ingesting it!?

    Get your own! It’s the right thing to do for the planet, for “the” economy, for “your” economy -by avoiding a potential overnight pit stop at the ER- and a good all around compromise for both sides of the Kogi family (clients and staff).

    Put yourself in the shoes of the staff and look at this from their perspective, then bust a move based on an educate decision.

    If you can’t see the logic in the above, then keep your opinions to yourself and chew on’em instead of coming out to the food truck and bitching about the napkins to the staff and the people around the truck!

    Jean Pierre

  9. Aprille says:

    As a fellow kogi lover/devotee, I am willing to bring my own napkins, utensils and tupperware to be able to keep costs down. I may even bring my own radishes on the side. Gotta have my radish.

    As I usually need to travel a good distance to get my kogi fix, I already spend a lot of gas too just to get to a truck. So I completely understand trying to keep costs down. If the prices went any higher, I’m not sure if I would be willing to go as often as I already do.

    So I think Alice came with a good compromise. We, as consumers, need to start thinking about all the trash we leave behind and how this effects our future. We Americans complain so much about everything and its a bit annoying.

    If you don’t like it, then don’t go. Let’s see how long you can stay away.

  10. Warren says:

    DUH, charge for the napkins, forks, spoons and condiments. You can even make a margin on it. People who wants 50 napkins and 6 forks can pay 0.10, 0.25, 0.50 or whatever for each piece.

  11. Natalie says:

    First and foremost I’d like to say that I LOVE Kogi food and staff. I regularly go to the Kogi trucks and last night I got out of class early and wanted to head to Kogi for dinner…then I saw this napkin thing and it kinda bummed me out and decided to go elsewhere until I read the comments and outcome of this ordeal.

    I was mildly unhappy when I read that you wouldn’t be having napkins because you are serving food that can be messy/greasy and I know I need at least one to wipe my hands afterward. Yes, I normally keep napkins in my car but sporks? I don’t. I normally get a tres leches…will sporks at least be give to those who order one of these? Sometimes I spontaneously visit Kogi and won’t have my own spork so if you don’t pass out sporks I guess no spontaneous Kogi trips. Can you please confirm on the sporks situation? I know I could probably pick one up at a fast food place but I normally go to Kogi late night and nothing is open.

    I’d also like to say that I’m baffled as to why the first resort was to take away napkins altogether instead of keeping the napkins inside the truck and handing out a few napkins per order or only upon request. Many times when I order I’m given radishes, oranges, lime/lemon and I don’t even ask for it nor use it, so maybe these can be given only upon request and/or for an additional charge. I have seen many people grab an assload of napkins so I’m glad you are going with rationing napkins.

    I love the rationing idea!! Sporks though…please let me know if they’ll be available for tres leches orders. =)

  12. Andy says:

    I think the Kogi operation suffers from awesome food, poor execution.

    Lots of entrepreneurs suffer from this – a great idea but not a lot of real business understanding to get the job done.

    I brought my own napkins last time because I knew about it, but you will lose repeat business if it’s not a good experience. Trying to get back to work with “saucy” hands is not a good experience.

    A couple napkins per order is needed. Good comment here about the cake, I love the tres leche, but no way to eat it without a spork.

    The tin foil is just a terrible idea – I see a ton of people taking half the box trying to figure out how to get the food back to the office. How about cardboard with lids?

    I’m a routine lunchtime visitor and I see the split in customers. Shirt + Tie vs Tee and Jeans. Shirt + Tie spend way more than Tee and Jeans. You have to provide the tools to clean up so they can get back to the office at lunch or dinner time.

    You guys need a pretty serious look at your costs. I’m hoping that’s not the reason I see a lighter truck schedule. I’d even come check things out myself over chicken burritos if you guys don’t have anyone to turn to.

  13. BaconLegs says:

    My vote is for increased prices. I enjoy taking my kogi home and I’d rather not look like a complete loser by bringing my own tin foils and bag. I love you kogi, but I will avoid you like the plague until you fix this.

  14. Chad says:

    Gas prices are going down, so…. how low does it have to go for you to return everything to the way it was?

  15. mj says:

    Cutting back on plastic bags and napkins makes me wonder of Kogi is cutting back on the quality of the product. I love the food but need a bag to carry it home once I pick it up at the truck. Cutting back on things the consumer needs to consume your product and bring your product home is penny wise, pound foolish, if you ask me.

  16. sleepyhead says:

    Solution found: I’m taking extra napkins from Chego and selling them at the trucks!

  17. kr123 says:

    But gas prices are going down. The reason they said there wouldn’t be anymore napkins and everything else is because of escalating gas prices. but since the prices are going down, does this mean that all the napkins, oranges, and sporks will go back to normal? I hope so.

  18. mj says:

    If I cannot pack it to go, it does me no good.

  19. togo says:

    If there is no to go packaging, Kogi will lose a customer.

  20. cheapkogi says:

    i dont get why kogi is being all cheap on us now, you think burritos at 5$ is cheap….. i can go to chipotle and they will give me a fatter burrito with napkins.
    so i hope kogi stops being cheap and crying about the gas prices. everyone has to pay for it so stop crying. big deal kogi has a special sauce and its all fresh, i could care lesss. lower the prices cheap bastrssds

  21. z.m. says:

    when i first found out about you guys, i wasn’t sure what kind of food you served. then a friend came up with an epic description for it, saying, “it’s like mexican food and korean food had sex… and kogi was their baby.”


    keep on keepin’ on… i love you guys 🙂

  22. Emily says:

    I always keep a roll of paper towels in my car for situations like this. Less than a dollar, and problem solved (and it lasts quite awhile).

  23. Drew says:

    You should have just said you were going green by removing the napkins and far less people would have complained.

  24. Quisha says:

    Like some others above I have to agree taking away foil and bags and such does cut down on my Kogi trips simply because I often get some on my way to somewhere else :(. Also where have all the trucks gone?? I didn’t see any notices about halving the number of stops in addition to taking away on the extra goodies.

  25. Steve Holt says:

    I absolutely love the Kogi truck but without the convenience of the aluminum foil, bags, napkins, and increasing emphasis on just tending to Irvine, it’s requiring too-great of an effort to eat there: Some of us are busy adults trying to grab a meal that doesn’t require a 30-minute commute and planning (as much as I’d love to pack tupper=ware and kitchen supplies)…

    Thanks for the memories, Kogi, but it’s adios for now.

  26. Jonny says:

    I just do not understand the angry reaction to this. I just do not understand some people.

  27. Jonny says:

    I say raise the prices. Although the losers who are angry over this napkin situation will then bitch about the prices. Some people can never be satisfied.

  28. Christi J. says:

    I’m a fan of Kogi, my ass can confirm; YIPEE!!!!!
    I must voice my concerns plainly, the napkins and utensils absence on your trucks is like allowing someone the use of your bathroom and keeping the toilet paper and soap and water from them…We must be loyal to Customer Service and be thorough and complete with a smile. Now, will I stop stalking the trucks because of this? NO! I have adapted and carry with me a surplus of napkins and forks. If u need some fellow Kogi munchers, get at me!

  29. Jacques says:

    If gas prices are the problem then consider some of the fuel alternatives available today (apparently coming down now however long that lasts). If that’s not an option, then practice cost containment; distribute 2 paper napkins and one spork per order instead of leaving them in trays or dispensers. If that’s not good enough, then charge what it costs or any combination of the above that works. Whatever you do, don’t expect your customers to eat this without the proper utensils – too messy.

    I’m sorry, but taking away eating utensils and napkins to save money; ridiculous! How do you expect to save money if you lose customers?

    Charge what it costs, don’t take away the sporks and napkins.

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  31. sundaymornings4u says:

    You people are going on strike over some napkins??
    Let’s be real, it’s not hard to find something to wipe your hands with regardless of whether you’re at work (the office doesn’t have a bathroom to go wash your hands in?), going home, or eating in the car. I personally don’t keep napkins in my car but I’m also not going on a road trip where I won’t have access to them in a reasonable amount of time.
    Now for the utensil issue, speaking from personal experience with depriving customers of utensils due to the cost, it doesn’t work. If the customer needs utensils then they need to be provided…rationally if need be. Same goes for the bags. If it’s a big order people need something to carry it in. But if it’s just one burrito? Nah, you don’t need to give them a bag.

    Come on guys try and think how much it costs to run a business like this. Carrying some napkins with you isn’t asking too much and what’s the downside?

  32. Eric Shin says:

    @Sundaymornings4U Napkins and utensils are currently available upon request. No more messy hands! Hurrah. Thanks for the support.

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