Cancun Grille Co-founder, President and Chief Operating Officer
Behzad “Ben” Manzoor
Born in a small city 60 miles northeast of the Iranian Capital, Cancun Grille’s Co-founder and Co-owner Behzad “Benito” Manzoor decided to travel West all the way to the United States after finishing high school and completing his two years of military service. Once in the states, he resided in Los Angeles, but as a young man he soon faced two major challenges. Ben had to master the English language and find a job to pay for his schooling. Always up to a challenge, Ben successfully accomplished both as he began working the graveyard shift as a food server in a coffee shop while attending school during the day.
Ben immediately fell in love with the hospitality industry since Middle Easterners have that trait in their blood. While working, Ben met many Latinos who didn’t speak much English or his native language Farsi, so he decided to learn the Spanish language to better communicate with his co-workers.
After starting college he worked for El Torito Mexican Restaurants as a food server/bartender and soon advanced into a management position. Ben was given the wonderful opportunity to open three restaurants and performed as a turnaround specialist for units not performing up to their potential. He has also worked for Acapulco Mexican Restaurants as a turnaround specialist where he was promoted to regional director.
Ben brings with him 30 years of success in operating dinner houses grossing $2 million a year. He’s a strong believer that his guests should be treated as kings and queens and that there’s no substitute for quality food and excellent service. Ben supports the “No” motto that translates to “The only time we say no is when we say ‘No Problem’.”
And, when it comes to receiving recognition for a job well done, Cancun Grille’s Co-founder is a veteran. Throughout his career in the food industry, Ben has received numerous awards and certificates. He is proud of each achievement bestowed upon him and with good reason. Below are the awards and certificates he obtained while employed at El Torito-Acapulco Restaurants, Inc., two outstanding Mexican restaurants in this fast-growing industry. Way to go, Ben.
• Regional Manager of the Year, 2001 Acapulco
• Highest profit increase over prior year of any region, 2001, Acapulco
• GM of the Year, 2000, Acapulco
• Three-time-turnaround Manager of the Year, 1997, 1998, 1999, Acapulco
• Marketing Manager of the Year, 1996, Acapulco
• Winner of Bright Idea Award, 1995, Acapulco
• Most increase over projection of sales in a new opening Acapulco, 1993, Acapulco, Northridge
• Highest Controllable profit increase over prior year (42%, 300% over py), 1986, El Torito
• Manager of the Year, 1984, El Torito
• Rookie GM of the Year, 1982, El Torito