Case Story

connecting customers and crew with a zest for life



By 2017, On The Border became the biggest and highest performing Mexican casual restaurant in the country. Their motto “Any Excuse to Fiesta” was a hit – customers loved the notion that any day could be a party with a margarita and fajitas from scratch. They gobbled it up.

Yet, somehow, OTB struggled to retain employees.

Like most multi-unit restaurants with a distributed workforce and centralized corporate headquarters, ops, HR and marketing all had unique insights on the issue, but lacked clarity and consensus on how to recruit and keep top talent.



We believe a brand is built as much from the inside out as the outside in. So we went straight to the source, gathering data from OTB team members through interviews and mobile surveys to plug into our Magnetic Scorecard diagnostic tool.

What we found:

Employees were lost. OTB’s internal communication methods were confusing and outdated. Like, 1996 outdated. Employees didn’t know how to do the basics, like enroll in health benefits… let alone make good on the lofty promise of turning every day into a party. Without a consistent and compelling rally cry, they lacked a sense of purpose.


Employees needed to know their daily work was important. That, for a brand who stands for “Any Excuse to Fiesta,” the employee is the citrus squeeze that wakes up a dish and turns a regular visit to OTB into an unforgettable party.

To help them see that, we took OTB through a story building workshop. Together, we shaped the narrative of an Employee Value Proposition campaign and intuitive training platform to encourage employees to infuse celebration into every day.


Our goals:

  • Increased enrollment in the health plan
  • Decreased safety claims
  • Increased engagement with the corporate office
  • Increased donations to a for-employees-by-employees relief fund called Do The Right Thing

the campaign

LimeLife: the On The Border employment value proposition

Limes are magical. They have the power to wake up a dish, transform beer into cerveza, and even bring avocados back to life. Yes, anything can be a fiesta. Your shift, your career, and that party of four that just arrived? That’s what they’re looking for, too. All they need is a little bit of lime.

The LimeLife campaign included:

  • Redefined leadership principles to inform culture documentation and reimagine training programming.
  • Upgraded training materials to align employees’ actions with the expectations of the modern guest.
  • An online portal to tie the employment journey together: training materials, announcements, recognition, sales data, shift calendars – all in one place called LimeLife.
  • A calendar of snackable corporate content, called “The Benefits of Your Benefits”, highlighting the best parts of working at OTB.


Today, LimeLife averages:

  • 144 recognition posts/day
  • 40 user contributions/month
  • 35 videos per month uploaded by users
  • 33% decrease in guest safety claims expenses


And thanks to the new communications strategy and tools, an internal annual fundraiser generated a year’s worth of donations from employees in a single day.

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