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Julian Cervantes of Super Taco Mexican Restaurants on Owning a Family Business Interview with Super Taco Mexican Restaurants Founder Julian Cervantes about starting a business with little knowledge, having a Plan B, and balancing family and work.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Takeaways from this episode:

A Family and A Dream - Julian Cervantes knew at an early age that he wanted to run his own business. He decided to take on the restaurant business, and with the help of his sisters, Iliana and Maria, they set off on the journey.

Plan B: Relax and Have Fun - By year 3, Julian Cervantes was ready to sell the business. Fortunately, due to a serendipitously slow buyer he and his wife (also known as Super Woman) had the time to rethink, relax, and recalibrate.

Work-Wife Balance - It's tough to find the right balance when running a business, specifically a family business. For Julian Cervantes, it is important for him to keep business, family, and happiness in its proper order.


Super Taco Mexican Restaurants Owner Julian Cervantes knew as a young man growing up in Sacramento that he wanted to own a business.

He just didn't know what to open or even how to get started. Luckily there were people around him who could help him become a restaurant entrepreneur.

With no plan, no background, but armed fully with ambition, passion, and money in savings, a young Julian Cervantes set out to find a location to open his first restaurant.

Powerful women serving as guides and helpers is a recurring theme throughout his life, and his initial business venture was no different. His sisters, Iliana and Maria, stepped in to help, and on September 29, 1991, the very first Super Taco Mexican Restaurant was open for business in Sacramento, California.

Super Taco is a true family restaurant business. Cervantes' wife and sons are a part of the business, yes, but are also the key to the balance necessary for Cervantes to remain joyful while navigating the ever-changing terrain of entrepreneurship. According to him, family first is the only way to have a successful business. Flipping those priorities, for the Cervantes family, is a recipe for success.

"Know your family is first, and happiness (is second). Third is your business," Julian Cervantes said on the Restaurant Influencers podcast hosted by Shawn P. Walchef of CaliBBQ Media. "If you do it the other way around and everything's for the business, you might not have a family."

Most businesses struggle to get off the ground and Super Taco was no different. Three years in, it just wasn't working and Julian Cervantes was ready to sell. Fortunately, he and his wife, who had become an integral part of the business by this time, were afforded time to reconsider selling, shuffle priorities, and get back to the essence of family first.

Those small changes proved to be the tweak necessary to send Super Taco Mexican Restaurants into a successful trajectory starting in the 90s and continuing to this day. And the rest has been taco history.


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Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point of sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants. Learn more about Toast.

Shawn P. Walchef

Founder of Cali BBQ Media

“Be the show, not the commercial.”

Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn Walchef helps brands and leaders leverage the new Business Creator Economy with strategic Smartphone Storytelling and Digital Hospitality.

His Cali BBQ restaurant company has generated more than $35 million since opening in 2008. They operate numerous locations in San Diego and beyond.

Shawn’s weekly video series Restaurant Influencers (published by Entrepreneur Media and produced by Cali BBQ Media) has been seen by over 25 million people.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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