In 2017, we thanked our team, our communities, and our taco lovers for helping us grow our brand and share our love of District Taco and the delicious food we serve to new cities. In 2018, we thought we would go a little deeper, and really see who those people are that helped us get to this point. What is their story? Who are they without their yellow hat and DT Team t-shirt?
We sat down with one of our newer employees to hear how he helps District Taco run like a well-oiled machine. Meet Jilberto.
Only a few months into his job at District Taco, Assistant Kitchen Manager, Jilberto Hernandez, already has quite the story! With previous fast-casual experience, this AKM knows the secrets behind District Taco’s unique menu and tells us his keys to success in the kitchen.
DT: Take us back to where it all began. What is your District Taco story?
JH: I live in the neighborhood and I saw that this restaurant was coming to the area. I had never worked for District Taco before but decided to apply based on the previous experience I had working in the fast-casual industry. Working here was similar to other jobs I have had in my past but also different. I needed to learn the menu, I needed to learn the base for each thing and what the marinade is, the portion, and how to consistently make the proper flavor that DT is known for. Probably 3 or 4 days after I started here I really began to know things. I started on the line, and then about two months in, I moved up.
What is the best part about your job at DT?
I’ve been given different positions. I’m now an assistant kitchen manager and I didn’t expect that. I always like to work hard, so when they gave me the option, I took it. There is a lot of room for opportunity and growth. I like working here. I like this team. I like how they work together- all of the managers from the Front of the House and Back of the House. The collaboration is important. I really like working for District Taco.
So now that you have been here a few months, what does a typical day at DT look like?
I get here in the morning and immediately start filling the line. Because it is so familiar and because I do it every day, I know pretty well what to expect, and I, luckily, feel like a pro at this point. But I’ve learned the need to be flexible and to adjust accordingly too. Some days can be a little slower, and others you have to prepare for catering or a big order and do more. It makes every day different which I like.
Have you always cooked? What do you like to cook at home?
At home, I cook for the family. Being from Mexico, we make a lot of Mexican food. Having little kids is tough though, so we keep it pretty simple- we do different kinds of meat, make simple tacos- meals like that.
What is your favorite go to, comfort food?
(zero hesitation) Pozole. What is that! Its looks like soup, but we make it with pork and it’s a little spicy. We put oregano, lettuce, onions on it. It’s so good.
Beyond cooking, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to enjoy the family. I have kids, so I go out with them and do different things with them. I do whatever they like to do.
Now that our mouths are watering, what is your favorite DT meal?
Huevos Rancheros, the way it comes (two eggs over hard, rice, black beans, cheese, sour cream, and Salsa de Maya on a corn tortilla) with Carne Asada, and a kick of spicy by adding some jalapenos and peppers. But not habanero. Even for this pro that is still TOO spicy!
Lastly, what is your leadership style- what makes you inspired? How do you help your team members grow?
We have all kinds of people. We have some people who like to work really hard and they make it easier, other people you need to push a little bit. So I think just realizing the different styles and learning to work with the different personalities to make the team successfully flow all together.
So now you have it! The tricks of the trade brought to you by Tysons Assistant Kitchen Manager, Jilberto Hernandez. Be sure to stop into our Tysons location to see Jilberto and the rest of the DT Tysons team in action!
At District Taco, we build our team with hardworking, determined, and driven individuals. It’s team members like Jilberto that represent the core of District Taco's values. There's nothing more important than passion for success and, of course, tacos!
If you're interested in a career with District Taco, visit our careers page! Need Mexican Catering for your next fiesta? Check out our Catering options in the tab above!