The man at the helm of Dallas’ iconic Mi Cocina is typically easygoing, but on the golf course, Edgar Guevara’s game is anything but. His drives aren’t long, his swing speed isn’t elite, but the 53 year old—who has experience playing alongside Phil Mickelson—can go low with the best of them.
Guevara and I recently teed it up early in the morning at Trophy Club Country Club—with fresh dew on the grass and the sun peeking through just beyond the horizon. The course, designed by Arthur Hills, starts out with a 521-yard par 5; according to the scorecard, its the hardest hole on the course.
Guevara knows the hole like Mi Cocina knows margaritas. A few years back, the restaurant group president and CEO won a tournament at his club, coming in -2 at the end of three days. And we all know the gusto a Mambo Taxi holds.
Guevara first picked up a golf club in the seventh grade. He says he was always pretty good at the game, but chose not to pursue the sport at the college level. He never thought he could make any money playing golf. Instead, Guevara believed he could make money by focusing on people.
Growing up in the Hispanic culture, food and family shaped his lifestyle, making the restaurant business a natural fit. His break into the business came as a dishwasher in a traditional Mexican restaurant—a role he calls “the most peaceful job in the world.”
Guevara striped his first drive about 250 yards down the left side of the fairway. He wasn’t too pleased, as his ball was tucked in a tough corner with a tree preventing a clean look at the fairway. His high standards for ball placement and restaurant service parallel.
After graduating from The University of Texas at El Paso, Guevara’s first leadership role in the restaurant business was as a kitchen manager at a local Chili’s. “That’s where I learned to really appreciate the business,” he says. “A lot of people in the restaurant had a bad attitude. But we had equipment that worked and had no reason to complain. So, I just decided to do the best job I possibly could, and just four months later I was promoted to be a general manger in St. George, Utah.”
Guevara quickly climbed the ranks. Just a year after taking over as a general manager in Utah, he was promoted to manage multiple units. “I really just credit my rise to having a good attitude,” he says. “Big companies have …….