Edgar Guevara has only been the CEO of M Crowd Restaurant Group, parent company to the popular restaurants Mi Cocina, Taco Diner and The Mercury, since April. Nonetheless, in that time he has made intentional efforts to meet everyone he can from the corporate level down to the waitstaff at every restaurant.
Guevara moved to the metroplex about 14 years ago. One of the things that stuck out to him most was Mi Cocina. It quickly became one of his favorite restaurants. I recently sat spoke with Guevara about his short time as CEO to learn more about his plans for the company.
Q&A with Edgar Guevara
What made your first visit to Mi Cocina so memorable?
The things that were most impressive to me about the brand was the service level, the quality of food and it was served in a well-refined space with Mexican influences.
Why are you passionate about M Crowd and the restaurant business?
The restaurant business provides people with career growth that other industries don’t. M Crowd has provided those career opportunities to many of its employees.
What’s the most exciting thing about being the CEO of M Crowd?
What excites me the most is that we have an incredible group of people who’ve been part of the company for 10 to 20 years. Getting them excited about the direction we are taking the company gets me excited.
What is the direction you are taking the company?
One of the things I believe that made Mi Cocina and Taco Diner strong brands is that they felt local and independent. They were treated like a collection of neighborhood restaurants and were supportive of the communities where they operated. Over the course of time, some of local and independent feel went away. I want to engrain the disciplines of the larger brands I have worked with, such as people development, the consistency of food recipes and service, without creating a cookie cutter approach across the company. I believe that our restaurant directors should have the ability to make decisions based on their guests’ dining trends. That’s another exciting part, empowering our team members and managers to l allow them to operate more like a local restaurant with the support that M Crowd can provide.
How do you see that happening?
I believe our team members and managers know more about how their restaurants operate than we do because they are in their restaurants every day and get feedback from their guests. We should let them make decisions based on the feedback they are receiving. What we will not do is compromise the high standards and consistency around recipe execution and service. In my career, what’s made me successful is giving our management teams the appropriate freedom within a framework that allows them to make decisions that are going to best serve them, their team members and their guests.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I’d like M Crowd restaurants to be viewed as a premier group of restaurants in the market. More importantly, I want to have provided our employees the ability to grow their careers and do more for themselves and their families. The brand is 27 years old currently and I think it would be great to have someone who has been with M Crowd leading the organization in the future. It’s about continuing to grow the people we have and giving them the opportunity to let them take on as much as they are able to.