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Cafe Rio Mexican Grill: Cafe Rio: Best Quick Service Mexican Restaurant

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill: Cafe Rio: Best Quick Service Mexican Restaurant


Cafe Rio: Best Quick Service Mexican Restaurant

I recently moved to Salt Lake City, Utah from California and have been looking for a great Mexican food restaurant. That was until I discovered Cafe Rio Mexican Grill.

Cafe Rio was awarded the number one quick service restaurant in the nation and for good reason! The food may be fast but unlike other fast food restaurants, everything is fresh and always made to order.

The menu items are traditionally inspired and nothing you order is ever pre-made, pre-packaged or frozen. From the chilies that are shipped in from Mexico to the hand-made tortillas, you can be sure that you are always getting the freshest ingredients.

Cafe Rio has over 45 locations, predominantly in the Western states, including Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. If you love Mexican food as much as I do and have yet to try Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, I highly recommend you do. Cafe Rio also has delicious daily specials, check out the website at www.caferio.com to see the full menu and a list of the daily specials!


Cafe Rio Chicken

We all know that I love Cafe Rio. It is a quick service Mexican restaurant that is one of my favorite spots to have lunch. I almost always get their taco salad with chicken, so I thought it was about time I recreated it at home! They are known for their Sweet Pork which is also super tender and juicy. So if you want to mix up Mexican night at home there are lots of options!

This is such a simple recipe to make and it is full of so much flavor. I made it in the Instant Pot, but the recipe is the same in the crock pot it will just take longer. The results are slightly tangy with that Mexican flare you expect. It is not spicy at all, so if you like things mild this is definitely for you!


Cafe Rio Style Black Beans

A few weeks ago, my friend Mel, aka the Dancin’ Queen, had to make Cafe Rio beans for 250 guests. Yes, two hundred and fifty.
We talked about how this was going to happen.
She gathered ingredients.
I showed up with my apron and big bowls.
We went to work.

About an hour and a half later, we had made four batches of beans (she made a test batch the night before). Each batch contained enough to serve fifty. Seriously, it was really simple. The hardest part, or I should say the most tedious part, was opening all of the cans. It’s a REALLY easy recipe. The finished product? Yum. These beans are flavored perfectly and go great on the side of any Mexican dish. This recipe tastes exactly like the black beans you can get at Cafe Rio. The texture is just right.

I’m all about a good copycat recipe you can make at home. Sauté some garlic, cumin, and olive oil over the stove. Once it becomes fragrant (about a minute) add the beans and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes juice and season to taste. When you’re ready to serve these yummy beans, add the chopped cilantro and enjoy!!

I’m posting the recipe for 8 and for 50. Depending on how many you are serving, or how much you love beans, or how much you love your hubs after he eats beans- you choose the quantity. If you want to use dry black beans take a look at my No-Soak Instant Pot Black Beans.


We have received many rave reviews on this sweet pork recipe. This pork is the real deal! We are thrilled that so many of you have enjoyed this recipe as much as we have.

“So I moved to Texas a little over a year ago and to my despair there isn’t a Cafe Rio for 500 miles. I love the pork Barbacoa burrito and have not been able to recreate it or find some thing close to it here in Texas until this recipe thank you for posting this. Every time I eat it, it’s like a warm homey feeling comes over me.” – Kamie

“I had my doubts because the ingredients seem so random, but we love this recipe and have done it with and without marinade several times. A++ both ways.” – Jessica

“THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY SPOT. ON. tastes amazing leftover too. ” – Jared

“We love, love, love this recipe! We have made it for several years now and it surely is a treat! I love your blog and haven’t ever been disappointed! I make LOTS when I make it and freeze it…tastes just as good when thawed! Also the dressings freeze well too! Thanks for your time and talent!”– Misti


Funworks Launches New Campaign for Cafe Rio Mexican Grill

In the most difficult times, great food has the power to bring people together. No one knows that better than the Mexican fast-casual restaurant chain Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, who recently brought back their beloved Carne Asada dish in the midst of the pandemic, and needed to get the word out in a way that went beyond the usual piano-driven, somber montages that have come to define the summer of 2020. For a different approach, Cafe Rio Mexican Grill once again turned to their partner Funworks, and their new improv-inspired virtual collaborative process, for an unexpected campaign that offers a little levity and empathy in a difficult time, tempered by the brand’s typical quick-witted charm. Much like a sitcom, the result is a warm and funny peek into the world of one family’s enduring love of Carne Asada as they cope with the new normal.

Celebrating the return of the fan favorite dish, the campaign features each member of the family going about their daily routine with a newfound positivity, depicted in a series of :60, :30, :15 and :06 spots. Kids skip their usual classes in favor of homeschooling and bagged lunches of Carne Asada. Masks become a useful way to hold in the flavor while they eat. The father works from home, pantsless. Undeterred, the mother laughs about how the days and months blur together. Each scenario is both sharply comedic and packed with empathic insight into the realities of quarantine.

“We worked closely with the Cafe Rio Mexican Grill team to make sure the tone felt right and that the ideas could evolve as things within the world continued to change,” says Funworks CCO Craig Mangan. “From the script to the directing to the editing, we were constantly having conversations about the boundaries of the humor, showing the Carne Asada obsession as well as the absurdity of people's ‘new normal’ in a relatable way that wasn't making light of the hardships people are facing today.”

For Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, the collaboration with Funworks was central to rethinking their entire marketing platform for the pandemic and coming up with an authentically empathetic, but still humorous approach. “During our virtual process, we stumbled onto the idea of remembering nostalgically what life was like in 2020 pre-pandemic,” explains Mangan. “That led to playing around with the idea that maybe Carne Asada can make 2020 great again.”

Since its inception, Funworks has been defined by its signature Funworkshops, the agency’s improv-inspired process that champions open conversation and collaboration toward quickly generating engaging concepts, strategies and content. Since the pandemic forced everyone to adapt their processes, Funworks also took their Funworkshops remote while still retaining their groundbreaking approach to driving creative innovation within organizations.

Part of that involved finding the best, safest way to film the spots during the pandemic. Their solution was to not only run the production remotely, but to cast a real family and shoot the campaign in the family's actual home. To do this, Funworks enlisted actor and comedian Regan Burns (How I Met Your Mother, Supernatural) and his family. “We really lucked out with this cast,” continues Mangan. “It was like they were a stage family, their timing and professionalism was so on-point. They all were riffing off one another and that, combined with the nimbleness of the production team, created some great moments and added a lot of energy to the project.”

This latest work was created on the heels of Funworks and Cafe Rio Mexican Grill’s “The Obsession Is Real” campaign, which celebrated the restaurant's uniquely enthusiastic fandom. This new campaign consciously pushed those boundaries even further in the hopes of continuing to build the brand’s comedic voice and reflect their appreciation of their fans in ways that are heartfelt and authentic. “It takes a great client to really be brave in doing something that’s never been done before,” says Mangan. “But not only did we feel really confident that we could get it done, the CEO and all the executives at Cafe Rio Mexican Grill really believed in our ability to tell that story for them in a strange and difficult time, which helped us deliver something truly special.”


Comments

Cerrisse

Yum! I LOVE Cafe Rio one of my top 5 favorite places to eat!

Kristin

Watch the ranch dressing mixes. The 2nd ingredient on hidden valley's is MSG, a horrible chemical that is carcinogenic and terrible for children.

Jaime

thanks for pointing that out! exactly why I don't use packaged mixes! anyone have a recipe for the chicken that doesn't involve using MSG laden packets?

It's certainly easy enough to find recipes to sub the packaged mixes for. Just do a quick Google search and you can make any recipe you want sans MSG. For example, http://www.food.com/recipe/ranch-dressing-and-seasoning-mix-47249

Amy Elliott

I have to make my own ranch dressing mix because my daughter has so many food allergies. I have it on a PDF document. If you'd like me to send it to you, please give me your email address and I'll send it straight away.

Petera

You've got to be kidding me. Show me one scientifically backed article that shows MSG as a 'carginogen.' You stay at home moms are insane.

Jennifer

YUM! This is going on my menu this month. sounds delish!

Leila

I found you on pinterest and am now following you from gotomommy.blogspot.com. Thank you for sharing all these recipes! I can't wait to start cooking some of them!

Poppilinnstudios

I'm always looking for new chicken recipes. I'll have to give this a try.
Thanks!
-Lynn

I made this last night and it was FANTASTIC. Will definitely become one of my go to recipes.
Lisa

Sharon

Sounds great, found your blog for the Solw Cook Girls on facebook!! Can't wait to see what else you've got cooking up!!

Kelli @ The Turquoise Piano

Thanks! I'm walking to the kitchen to make this for dinner right now.

Carrie

Life With Lucy

This looks delicious! Definitely saving it to my "to make" list! Thanks for sharing!

Emily

I've never heard of Cafe Rio, but this chicken looks delicious. I'm pinning this right now to try soon. Thanks for sharing!

Amy's Kitchen

Love Cafe Rio. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer

Sounds tasty!!Thanks again for linking up to Show & Share!

Anonymous

Found the Cafe Rio Chicken recipe on Pinterest. can't wait to try it!

Sarah at Becoming Sensible

This chicken is delicious! I shared it on my blog today- www.becomingsensible.blogspot.com in my weekly meal plan- thanks for the recipe!!

Anonymous

Can I start with frozen chicken? What would the flavors be like for pork loin?Thanks! Sara

Sabrina

Alrighty then, guess what I'm making tomorrow? Gonna shove it in a tortilla with some green pepper sticks.. the kids will love it! Thanks!

Kristen

Thanks for the recipe. I had to modify it a bit since I was out of cumin and chili powder (subbed a half a pack of taco seasoning instead) and it was awesome! Working into the monthly menu rotation since the kids enjoyed it so well.

Nancy C.

What brand of dressings did you use? Kraft? Hidden Valley?

Nancy C.

half a small bottle of zesty italian dressing. what's the ounces of the bottle?

Paula

OMG. we had this for dinner tonight. It was AWESOME.

Anonymous

Nancy. I found a small bottle which is 8 ounces

Brooke

Just to confirm, did you use half of the 8 oz bottle or the full 8 oz bottle?

Anonymous

Anonymous

If you like to cook in a slow cooker, cook lots of chicken and keep it frozen in ziplock bags. You can make lots of recipes by doing this. Take a look atthe e-book-you can download it in seconds (Over 470 Delicious Crockpot Recipes).www.mallpros.com/store/bugbooks

Anonymous

this was SO good! i can't stop eating it!

Anonymous

Do you cook the chicken first or is it raw?

Anonymous

Anonymous

I made this yesterday and altho it smelled awesome, it was completely dried out after 6 hours on low. I highly recommend using a whole bottle of dressing or using frozen chicken breasts for the extra moisture. I'm going to try this one again b/c it really smelled amazing.

Anonymous

Made this tonight and LOVED it.

Jenn Grosse

I put my chicken in frozen and it turned out just fine.

Anonymous

My husband did a whole research project on MSG and though I'd let you know it's not as harmful as you think and definitely not a carcinogenic.

Jacquie

Just saw this post and wanted to say that MSG can be a horrible trigger for those of us who suffer chronic migraines. Certain allergies can be triggered by MSG. It's all about knowing and understanding your own body.

Danielle

Love this recipe. I substitute the ranch packet with 2 tbs of homemade ranch mix(no MSG). I found the recipe on pinterest. Yum! My husband has requested this as part of his father's day dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous

Are the chicken breasts boneless or bone-in?

Chef in Training

I used boneless skinless chicken breasts for mine

Chef in Training

You put it in the crock pot raw and let it cook for the specified times

Yummy, made it and loved it! Pinning it now!

Dazymae2

I added a can of mild rotel and used the drained chicken in my fav chicken enchilada recipe

Amy @MoMomma

I make this often with a can of ro-tel and some taco seasoning (you can do it with salsa too). Super yummy!

Anonymous

This is trash, the book is not listed on this site and the ones that are there are "infomercial" self help crap.

Anonymous

Thank you for posting this amazing recipe. it was delish. I even made the rice recipe with the lime and cilantro and used my rice cooker. Perfect for a weeknight meal. My husband is excited about left overs.

Mysbhvn

Made this chicken yesterday. One comment I have is to maybe put the ounces in the recipe. The smallest bottle of Italian in my store was 16 ounces which meant I used too much in the sauce but. when this chicken came out of the crock pot. OMG!! I had a hard time keeping my husband out of it lol I used it in your Bubble Up Enchiladas and they too were to die for! Next up. Chicken Tortilla soup. can't wait! Thanks for the yummy recipes!

Anonymous

I got the smallest bottle at our store, too (the Commissary has really limited selection) and it was 16 oz, so the recipe was very salty. Good to know that a small bottle is about 8 oz. This next time around I will use that or go with 1/4 bottle. We all loved it, though!

Anonymous

Planning to make this tomorrow. how many chicken breasts should I use? The recipe calls for 2 lbs, but wasn't sure how many that would be. Thanks!

Shannon

Making this for dinner tonight. I am excited to try it out. :) I have tried several of the recipes that you have posted and they are becoming my families favorites.

Stephanie

Yum! Made these tonight and they made some GREAT chicken tacos! I ate my chicken in a whole-wheat tortilla topped with some cheese, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, and tomato and it was awesome! Everyone in my family really loved it so I'll definitely be making more again soon! I actually halved the recipe because I only had 1 lb of chicken. Next time I'll plan to make the whole recipe so I can freeze some. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Kaitlin MacDonald

Wondering if you can just use 1/2 a bottle of ranch dressing rather than the package of ranch dressing mix?

Anna G

In the crock pot right now. Smells great! I had to make a few modifications to use what I had available so we'll see! Thanks for sharing! (found you on Pinterest)

Lauren

This sounds yummy. An idea I use for chicken recipes is to put chicken breasts in my crockpot and cook them on low for 6 to 8 hours. When finished shred and place one to two cup servings in freezer bags to have on hand for chicken spaghetti, chicken pot pie and other things that require cooked chicken. It makes it so easy.

Love your site/blog and looking forward to trying out the Cafe Rio recipe this Holiday weekend.

Melissa

I made this tonight for my boyfriend who LOVED it (I am a vegetarian so I am learning how to cook meat meals for him). He went for thirds before I told him to stop, haha!! He ate his in tortillas. I followed the exact recipe except I added a can of HOT Rotel (since I read a few reviews about adding it) since my boyfriend likes spicy/hot foods. I found this recipe on PINTEREST.com. Thanks.

Mckayla

I made this last night for dinner and it absolutely amazing. My husband named this his new favorite chicken Meal! Big deal considering his love for crockpot lemon chicken! Thanks for the recipe!!

Kathy

Is the chicken bone in or boneless? Is the chicken skinless? Is the chicken frozen when put in the crockpot?

Chef in Training

I used boneless skinless chicken breasts :) I also used thawed chicken breast, but you can do frozen too, it might just change the cook time slightly. Hope that helps!

Abigail

Can the chicken be frozen when it goes in the crockpot? So excited to try!

Can you make this in a dutch oven? I dont see why it cant be done i am going to try .. thanks for this recipe

Sue Bullis

This sounds great, I am thinking about starting a blog myself.
I will look for you on facebook !

Jan Mike Cain

This is a great recipe! It made a big hit over the Holidays!

SoFitSoGreen

Yum! That picture alone is making me hungry!

Oh.my.YUM! Adding this to my menu this week!

Katie

We made this last night and had it for dinner tonight in quesadillas. Best chicken I've ever made. We will be making it again this week! My husband is making happy noises as he eats. :)

Robin

Love this! quick, easy and delicious.

Laura

This was super yummy and my kids gobbled it up! I served it over brown rice topped with jack cheese and it was delicious! It was juicy and flavorful. I cooked it on low for 5 hrs and it was perfect! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

What did I do wrong? I followed the exact recipe and did low for 8 hrs and when I got home, exactly 8 hrs later, the chicken was burnt to a crisp and all sauce was black and stick to the crockpot.

Jacquie

The recipe may say 8 hours on low, but I have never done it more than 6 and it is nice and moist. Sometimes I cut the breasts in half before cooking if they are thick so they cook thoroughly.

Chef in Training

Hi Kim. I am so sorry. I have been meaning to update the directions to say low for about 5 hours then to check its doneness. Every slow cooker cooks differently. It has since been updated. I am so sorry for your burnt and dry chicken. I hope you will try it again an adjust the cook time because it is so worth it! This chicken is so delicious and freezable!

Thanks! I most definitely will try again!

Tyleena

So, this has been in the crock pot for about 4 hours now, my mother-in-law asked what I plan to do with it when its done, and it was then that I realized not only do I not have a plan for it, but I also have no cheese, no shredded lettuce, sour cream, beans, rice, or anything TO DO with it. Dinner tonight is going to be interesting :)

Bonnie

What would be a good substutuion for the Italian dressing?

I LOVED this chicken and definitely plan to make it again! If I double the recipe, do I need to adjust the cooking time? Any tips on this?

Reagan

So I've made your version of cafe rio chicken before and loved it! Tonight I went searching for it again and thought I found it (I recognized your picture). It wasn't it! Someone is using your picture and has just cropped it down! It's pin on pinterest and is sending people to keyingredient dot com. I thought you'd want to know!

Hannah

I made this last week for my picky boyfriend. WE BOTH LOVED IT! I've been experimenting with different crockpot chicken recipes. They are easier to deal with for us working folks. This is definitely one of our favorites so far. It was in the crockpot for about 8 hours, but it was not overcooked.

Linda B

This is so fantastic! I used it to make Crockpot Enchilada Dip and a pasta salad with Bowtie Pasta and Cherry Tomatoes and a Vineagrette Dressing. The uses are only limited by your imagination. It is easy to make and hard to resist. Thanks for sharing.

Joy Absalon

Just curious. I looked at the recipe on Mandy's site and the cook times are TOTALLY different. You say 5 hours on LOW and she says 8 HOURS On LOW. So now I'm confused.

Chef in Training

I noticed mine was perfectly cooked at 5 hours. Any longer and it got tougher. Just make sure you check for doneness. Every crock pot cooks differently.

Mrs. Metro

I make this all the time and I throw my chicken in when it's still frozen. We love this recipe and I've been making it since you posted it. My Crock Pot is a little older so 8 hours on low is just right. I like the Crock Pot liners as I teach and coach after school which means that I'm not always home 8 hours after I leave for work. A little chicken broth would also add enough liquid so the chicken won't burn.

Michelle

A super quick trick if you cook a lot of chicken is (after it is cooked) to throw it in your stand mixer and let the beater shred it!

Sharon

I want to try this recipe it sounds great, but when I cook meat in my slow cooker it turns out dry, I would love a suggestion on how to cook it so it is juicy when done. thanks in advance :)

Lynne Bauereiss

I love this recipe! It's so easy and delicious that I make it often. Lately I've started using Sister Schubert's yeast rolls and serving the chicken as sliders. Oh my goodness - are they ever yummy!! Thank you for posting this recipe, and I look forward to more. Merry Christmas!

I'm sorry, but I sincerely doubt that Cafe Rio uses Italian Dressing as part of their seasoning for their chicken :/ This looks more like a Betty Crocker fail than an accurate version of anything they'd serve there, considering their focus on fresh food and veggies.

For something similar but not exact on their flavor (but more true to the Mexican flavorings), use the same cooking method but in place of the dressing and ranch packet, try:

2 TBSP Chili Powder
1 TBSP minced garlic
1/4 to 1 TSP red pepper (to taste)
1/2 TSP Cumin
1/2 medium white onion, minced
1/4 Cup cilantro, stems removed
1 TBSP fresh-cracked black pepper
EITHER 1 cube tomato-chicken bullion OR 3 oz tomato sauce OR 2 fresh finely chopped Roma tomatoes
Zest of 1/2 lime (optional)

Pamela

I have left over chicken can I use just add ingredients and warm?

Manuela

I don't know what café rio chicken is. but this recipe was on point. So good, toddler approved and all! I made burritos from the chicken. Next time I'll double the batch so I can freeze some for a quick dinner. Thanks for posting.

Leigh Ann

I have made this recipe 10 times since I found it! Simply divine.

This chicken has become a staple at our house. We triple the recipe and freeze the majority in "week-sized" glass containers. That way we can thaw enough without committing to a zillion chicken dishes. It tastes great cold or hot. I put it in egg scrambles, salads, tacos and my mouth directly.


What could I put this steak on?

If you have never been to Cafe Rio, it’s incredibly simple to order. It’s extremely fresh Mexican food, where you select all your fresh toppings. However, they only have a few main courses to choose from. They have:

  • Burritos
  • Tacos
  • Enchiladas
  • Salad
  • Tostada (like a mini salad, with a hard shell on the bottom)
  • Quesadilla

From there, you pick your meat, beans, cilantro rice, sauce, and fresh toppings.

I personally go for the burrito (because they are massive and I get more steak), but all of the options are delicious.

I also love the quesadilla, and this one is a simple one to make at home. All you need is your tortilla, cheese, and steak.

We also love dipping all our Cafe Rio Copycat recipes in their Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing. I kid you not, this stuff is heaven sent. It’s so yummy.

If you love this copycat cafe rio steak marinade, you’ll want to make the best pork chop marinade. it makes The best grilled pork chops!


Experts Say Success Starts with Culture

From big restaurant companies to small, a strong corporate culture attracts customers, engages employees, and enables better decision-making.

It may be that a person usually needs to hear something at least three times before it registers in their mind. But something I heard at the 15th Annual UCLA Extension Restaurant Industry Conference recently stood out to me the first time it was said—and its impression only got stronger each time I heard the point repeated throughout the day.

Julia Stewart, chairman of the board and CEO of DineEquity Inc., kicked off the conference introducing a theme that turned out to be consistent through many of the conference sessions: Brand culture is vitally important to a restaurant business. Discussing the story of her company’s success during the recent difficult times that have left many of its peers struggling, Stewart explained that culture is the No. 1 thing she spends her time on.

That certainly got my attention. After all, there’s got to be a connection between her company’s prosperity and her focus on culture.

The power of a strong culture to drive business success became more apparent as other speakers took the stage at the conference. From Cyrus DeVere, chief people officer at Café Rio Mexican Grill, to Smashburger’s chairman and CEO Dave Prokupek, many speakers made the case for the extraordinary brand and business results produced by leaders who deliberately develop and consistently reinforce their organization’s culture.

The focus on culture makes sense. One of the primary ways an organization sets and strengthens its brand is its culture. The distinctive way a company behaves and the values it espouses is the foundation upon which the company builds its strategy and operations that turn its brand promise into reality.

And when a company has a special way of doing business, it attracts attention and draws customers in.

Some of the most respected brands, like Southwest, Zappos, and Virgin, became well known not because of their advertising campaigns, but because of their distinctive cultures. The personality of their employees and the style with which they served customers created a distinctive customer experience that people actually talked about and their brands became known for.

In the same way, the folks at Café Rio Mexican Grill make their culture palpable to their customers. DeVere described the culture of his company with four E’s: Energy, Emotion, Excitement, and Enthusiasm. Employees display these E’s to customers in ways that convey a sense of urgency and attention to detail.

“People want to know they’re being taken care of,” he explained, and they feel that way at Café Rio because of its high-energy culture. As a result, word of mouth has enabled the company to enter new markets successfully.

Culture also engages employees. In an industry with such high employee turnover rates, restaurants need to do all they can to retain and motivate their staffs. A strong culture does this better than free food and other common perks—and in many cases even better than pay rates and benefits. That’s because leaders can use the company culture to connect employees to a higher purpose and to each other.

One of the conference sessions I attended featured several young restaurant employees who offered perspectives on their work experiences. A young woman from The Daily Grill, one of 29 restaurants owned and licensed by Bob Spivak’s Grill Concepts Inc., talked about how she wants to work there because of the company’s focus on culture. She described the company’s “Grill Concepts,” the values that define the experience of working there, and explained that not only are they “drilled into our brains” when employees are hired, but founders are also “in the restaurant all the time talking about culture.”

This emphasis is attractive and motivating to her, as it helps her understand and remember the consequences of her actions on the business and on her fellow employees.

“They’re my family,” she said, describing the commitment she feels for the people she works for and with. No doubt such engagement and loyalty throughout The Daily Grill’s system pays dividends.

Finally, culture facilitates decision making. Smashburger’s Prokupek described how the unconventional culture he’s developed informs everything they do at the chain—from hiring practices to the use of technology to capital expenditures and more. The company’s culture, which is modeled after the cultures at Google and Netflix, challenges him and his team to make decisions differently than most quick serves. This different way of doing business has enabled his company to grow to more than 100 units in less than four years.

A well-defined and supported culture enables people to make decisions easily and quickly because it helps everyone develop a shared understanding of the right thing to do. It clarifies what’s “on brand” and what’s not, so big, strategic decisions, as well as smaller, daily ones, can be made with confidence and commitment.

Café Rio’s Devere said employees cut and squeeze up to nine cases of limes every morning at every restaurant. “Most people would think that’s crazy,” he said, “but those cases of limes being split convey Energy. We make a choice to run our labor model [so we can do the limes], and so far we keep growing with good results.”

Now more than ever, company culture is the right focus for restaurateurs. It’s the most effective way to offset the costs and complexities that keep increasing in every part of the business—and it’s a powerful way to build a brand.


What are Tomatillos?

One of the most important ingredients in this Cilantro Lime Dressing is tomatillos. They may look like unripe tomatoes, but these small, green fruits have a slightly more acidic, less sweet flavor than tomatoes and the texture is much thicker than tomatoes. You can find them in the produce section at your regular grocery store. To prepare, remove the tough outer husk, give them a quick rinse, then toss them in the food processor or blender and blend until smooth with the rest of the ingredients listed below. Tomatillos can be eaten raw or roasted, and their fresh flavor is perfect for a light, zesty dressing. If you love tomatillos (I know I do!) try our Homemade Tomatillo Salsa Verde next time you make Mexican food.


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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Card Offers from Conejo Valley Local Businesses

Posted on December 21, 2020 by Conejo Valley

Do you have a few people left on your holiday gift list and not sure what they’d like? Help them treat themselves&hellip