Latinos in Business :: Chef Polo and his restaurants

mini-poloLatinos in Business - Chef Polo and His Restaurants
Chef Leopoldo “Polo” Becerra welcomes every client that walks through the doors of his sophisticated Polo’s Signature Restaurant. The eatery offers an exceptional service and a menu that brings to the table unique and appetizing tastes of American cuisine.


polo-becerraBecerra, a native of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, studied in Mexico to become chef. When he arrived in this country 20 years ago, he started working as a cook at the Post Oak Grill restaurant near The Galleria. A year later he earned the position of assistant chef and continued his career as executive chef for 13 years. Today he owns the Post Oak Grill Uptown, Midtown and Downtown locations, as well as Polo’s Signature Restaurant.

Recently Latin Breaking News interviewed Chef Becerra:
How did you become owner of the Polo’s restaurants?
When I had been working at the Post Oak Grill for 13 years, the restaurant was going bankrupt and the owners offered to sell part of the company for $80,000. Back then I only had between $1,000 and $2,000 but I asked banks and friends for loans in order to accept the offer. I continued as chef and manager for a while until I was able to gather more loans and buy the whole restaurant.

How many restaurants do you have and how many people make up your staff?
I started with 60 employees in two restaurants and now I have 280 employees in five restaurants.

What is the biggest challenge you face as a business owner?
For every success you have to pay a price, and that price is family. I work at the restaurants every day and I haven’t been able to marry. When you own a business such as this one, you don’t have time for fun. We have to build the bridge for the next generation and, as the people who are building the bridge, we’re the ones who get to enjoy it the least.

How do you get involved in the Latino community?
I support every community with donations, help to schools, to the breast cancer cause, by contributing to scholarships and trying to advise Hispanic students who want to learn about business. As vice president of the Cámara de Empresarios Latinos de Houston, I want to strengthen and guide Hispanic entrepreneurs, teach them how to do business with others and how to connect better with the client.

What advice would you give other business owners who want to achieve success?
Any business can grow as long as you have integrity, are willing to pay the price and make the customers trust you. You also have to be a good leader and treat your employees well. For example, several of my employees that started as cooks have been promoted to kitchen managers. I’ve also invited some of them to become partners of the company.

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Houston, TX 77027
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