Focus on your core and try to please that one guest you have in mind. This creates the quality in what you do while serving the needs of your target market.
Pedro “Pete” Mora is the passionate founder and owner of Fajita Pete’s, the Houston, Texas-based fajita delivery chain. After opening and running a successful full-service restaurant for six years, he realized that consumers craved convenience, like quality fajitas delivered right to them. In 2008, Mora launched Fajita Pete’s, a fast-casual concept with a streamlined menu featuring fresh fajitas catered and delivered. The rapidly growing chain has grown to 14 locations with several more in development. Mora is an alumni of the University of Houston.
Where did the idea for Fajita Pete’s come from?
The idea for Fajita Pete’s came from the simplification of a full-service restaurant I owned. I made the concept more agile and fit to serve a delivery niche that I saw as a growing trend. I needed a simple yet all-encompassing menu that allowed fast order fulfillment, no matter the size of the order, while still being simple enough to allow us to handmake all of our food.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day begins with a cup of Colombian coffee. I check my to-do list left from the day before and then I respond to all of my unanswered emails. I stay productive by focusing on short-term goals that directly impact our focus on improving systems such as training, operational consistency and labor management tools.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My team brings ideas to life by carefully thinking about what we want to achieve next, setting goals to get there and strategically creating systems to achieve those goals.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The food delivery trend has continued to grow in the past 11 years since Fajita Pete’s was founded. It becomes more popular every year and I’m excited about the growth possibilities for Fajita Pete’s as a catering and delivery concept.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My definition of productivity has shifted throughout the years. When Fajita Pete’s was first founded, I measured productivity by hours, sweat and sacrifices. Now productivity means opening new stores, building new systems, creating accountability tools and building brand awareness for Fajita Pete’s. I think focusing on great communication with my team and partners is the most valuable way to stay productive.
What advice would you give your younger self?
So many things… Follow your gut, don’t underestimate yourself and never stop networking. Know what you don’t know, and surround yourself with people who know what you don’t. Be passionate about what you do. Be the dumbest person in every room you’re in. Company growth comes from building a team of people better than you.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Most things you need to be successful in business you learned in first grade.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Read, learn and keep looking for more opportunities. All business is the same and other industries’ knowledge can be applied to your company because you have the filters and lenses to equate all things to what you do. Improve the wheel but don’t reinvent it.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Stubborn consistency. There are many times when it’s tempting to be all things to all people. Focus on your core and try to please that one guest you have in mind. This creates the quality in what you do while serving the needs of your target market.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One of my many failures was thinking I needed a bit of everything to give myself the best chance to succeed. I realized this error and moved from a 6,500 square-foot restaurant to a 1,200 square-foot kitchen. Simplified and re-focused, I took a big drink to swallow my pride and moved on.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Do what Amazon does, but do it better…
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Dinner ordered in and movies bought on the TV. The kids were out of the house and I spent a day with my wife all alone. It helped clear my mind and put my personal goals in line with professional ones.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Right now, it’s ExpandShare. It’s our training platform that supports our trainers, validates our training and compounds our efforts.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Guts and Borrowed Money. It’s a guide that helped shape me as an entrepreneur. It was written by a professor from the University of Houston entrepreneurship program and was fundamental in shaping our program and myself as a businessman.
What is your favorite quote?
“If people aren’t there when you need them, you most likely don’t need them.” I also like, “Every new broom sweeps good.”
- Be stubborn in your focus.
- You are always in the people business.
- Be honest with your weaknesses.
- Focus on what makes you, you.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.