Meet Enrique Reyes
A Be A Better Human Story
Taco-truck owner, waterpark enthusiast, Black Apron server at First Watch. When he’s not dishing up family recipes from his side business or spending time at waterparks with his kids, Enrique is serving good times at First Watch – something he’s enjoyed doing for the last 17 years!
What’s your First Watch story?
I started in 2005 at First Watch 119th Street in Overland Park. I spent 10 years of my life at our 95th Street location, then another five years at Fairway. In total, I’ve worked 17 years with First Watch and I’ve been so proud to work with the team. I was made a black apron and New Restaurant Opening Trainer several years ago and I’ve been helping open a couple of restaurants around the United States. The many years I’ve been here shows how much I love it. Right now, I am working at our Metcalf restaurant. After my shift at First Watch, I get ready for the night to run my taco truck.
Wait…you run a taco truck? Tell us more!
Yeah, my wife and I have run a business for seven years. We used to do only catering. Then recently, I purchased a taco truck in March 2022. My wife is the one who runs the taco truck business, though. She’s the chef and comes up with all the taco recipes. She’s got a lot of experience and very creative. I’m so proud to have this woman with me and I’m so proud of what we’ve created together.
Who keeps you motivated?
Part of that is my family. I have six kids at home, so I have a big family to take care of with my wife. My oldest is 27 years old and my youngest are twins. They’re all ages and they keep me going. But outside my family, I really like the restaurant business and interacting with people.
What do you like to do with the family?
We like to travel a lot. We actually go to Florida every year for a week or two. Sometimes, we visit Orlando since the kids love Disney World. Sometimes, Coco Beach or Daytona Beach, also one of our favorites. Every time we make plans to go to Miami, however, they never seem to work. That’s the next place we’d like to go.
I was born in Mexico. So, while I’ve spent more than half my life in the United States. I’ve got my whole family down there, so I also try to go visit them once or twice a year.
What’s your favorite First Watch moment?
When I was invited to open our newest restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska back in 2014. I was able to invite my family to go with me for the five-day trip. I told my wife and I remember her being so excited. My kids could stay at the hotel and spend all their time at the pool, just having fun out there. This is one of the best memories that I’ve had with First Watch.
What was receiving your Black Apron like? How’d you feel?
It was a great thing. It made me even more committed to First Watch. Since I’ve been with our restaurants for so many years, I feel I can share my experience and knowledge with my coworkers, and it makes me happy to do it and be part of the team. I am at my best when I’m training others.
What are you most proud of – at First Watch or in life?
When they called me to be a New Restaurant Opening Trainer. The first thing I said was “really?” I was very happy that they wanted me on board. Now, I’ve been a trainer for last six years and I’ve opened three restaurants. It makes me happy to travel and help other restaurants open. I also like that my family can sometimes come with me!
Since I’ve been with our restaurants for so many years, I feel I can share my experience and knowledge with my coworkers, and it makes me happy to do it and be part of the team. I am at my best when I’m training others.– Enrique Reyes
When do you have some down time?
I love to get up early, around six o’clock in the morning. If I don’t have anything to do, I feel bored in bed. My wife doesn’t like breakfast as much – she’s more a lunch girl, so I go to breakfast by myself. If I go to First Watch, I’m either ordering the Ham and Gruyere omelet or the biscuits and gravy. I love breakfast: it could be noon and I’ll still get my biscuits with gravy and scrambled eggs.
Where do and your family like to spend time together?
Waterparks. My kids love them, and we go all over the U.S. to visit them. Silver Dollar City’s White Water Park is our favorite. My kids love it for some reason and, the best part, it’s close by. It makes me happy to see them happy.
When you’re eating out, who do you invite?
My family, so my wife and kids. My two oldest kids don’t live with us anymore, so I’d have to give them a call to come with us. We usually go to Mexican restaurants. If we do, I’m ordering the molcajete – a mix of beef, chicken, chorizo, green onions and cactus in a bowl made from rock – at Kmacho’s in Kansas City.
What’s a dream you hope to achieve?
My wife and I have a few projects in the works. Eventually, we’re hoping to move back to Mexico. All my kids were born here in the U.S., but we have family down there and we want our kids to spend time learning our culture, too. We’re also thinking of opening a couple of businesses and help with the economy down there. We’d want to open a clothing store named after our daughter, “Leslie’s Boutique.”
Want to join Enrique in making days brighter?