Don Luis Camacho, who has taken over his family business, discusses the history and future of his family restaurants. Learn more about Don as he shares his story with KROST.
Don Luis, the Camacho name is well known in Los Angeles for Mexican Food, how did your family start in the business?
My father Andy Camacho purchased the El Paseo Inn restaurant (est. 1930) at Olvera St. He bought it in 1984. That launched us into the business. From there we were awarded concession contracts to operate what is now Camacho’s at LAX (T1 & TBIT) in 1993 and also opened two full service restaurants in 1994, Camacho’s Cantina at Universal City Walk and Mariasol at the Santa Monica Pier.
Did you always know you would be a part of the business?
I always wanted to be able to grow a business, even better than it is our family business.
What is your earliest memory of the restaurant business?
Going to El Paseo Inn as a kid, even before we owned it, for Las Posadas around Christmas time.
Your father Andy is a recipient of the Elizabeth Burns Award – is he still active in the operation of the business?
Yes, you will still see him at any one of restaurants from time to time. That said, he has a great team of people working in the company so his responsibilities are much less than in prior years.
Other than your own restaurants what are your favorite places to eat in Los Angeles? What are your favorite items?
I love all Asian foods, noodle dishes in particular.
Where do you like to vacation? Why?
We really don’t vacation much these days with the demands of work and a young family but I do love Cabo, San Lucas.
What is your favorite part of the business? What is your least favorite?
I love developing an idea for a food item and implementing it with the team. Not much I dislike about the business.
You are currently the President of the LA Chapter of the California Restaurant Association – what issues is the CRA dealing with this upcoming year?
We will continue to develop top-notch events for our members, in particular, educational seminars on industry best practices on a variety of topics.
What do you think are the most important issues the industry will face this coming year?
Health Care, Health Care, Health Care.
What are the 2013 plans for the Camacho’s restaurants?
To continue to develop outstanding food and beverage items in all of our locations.
Are you a Dodgers or Angel’s fan?
Lakers or Clippers?
Both, we are honored to operate concessions at Staples Center, home of both the Lakers and Clippers.
UCLA or SC?
Don Luis Camacho, Camacho’s Incorporated
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