Finance Monthly CEO Awards 2019 Edition

Please tell us about Chilango. Chilango is an award-winning quick-service Mexican restaurant chain in the United Kingdom, and we’ve enjoyed steady growth over our 11-year history. We serve fresh restaurant-quality food, at a fast-food pace, made- to-order right before your eyes, to over 30,000 people per week. We now have 12 restaurants, with 10 in London, 1 in Manchester, 1 in Birmingham, and several more on the way. In the short-term, our aim is to double in size over the next 3 years, and in the long-term, we aim to create a multi-billion-dollar global brand, in our quest to make the world a more vibrant place. We’re also the most successfully crowdfunded restaurant chain in the world - so we’re quite literally powered by the people. What was the idea about Chilango born out of? The simple answer is that I was missing the food I had grown up loving in Chicago. But believe it or not, it was actually my time helping build up Skype, together with my business partner Dan Houghton, that led to the birth of Chilango. Skype provided us with a masterclass in product quality and branding. Skype succeeded where others didn’t because the call quality and software was vastly superior to the competition. Similarly, everything was wrapped in a brand that people loved. Those two core tenets, product quality and branding, would form the bedrock of Chilango. Product quality, in that our flavours had to be out of this world, and branding, in that our people - both our guests and team members - needed to passionately love what we stood for. We’ve also created a fun, vibrant, high-performance culture to fuel our success. For us, high performance is a by-product of helping our people become their best selves, both professionally and personally. At Chilango you’ll not only learn how to cook and how to roll a burrito, but you’ll also learn a myriad of other life skills, like how to overcome procrastination, the science of habit formation, and how to increase your willpower. Thanks to our high performing teams, and the passionate following of our guests, we’ve been able to grow to our 12 restaurants today. What are the challenges of being an entrepreneur in today’s environment? Within my coaching practice, I work with quite a few high- achieving entrepreneurs and leaders, and despite their differences, their individual challenges are remarkably similar. They all experience success quite often, but not as consistently as they would like. And those “bouts” of success often come at the price of many other important areas, such as their health and relationships. Truth is, it’s tough being an ambitious entrepreneur or leader. We work in a fairly structure-less environment, and we typically don’t benefit from the accountability that comes from a more traditional boss. Everything is on us, and often there are not many people around to help us think through challenges, sound ideas off, or just help us keep our heads above water. As a result, many entrepreneurs and leaders often feel like their days are full of busy work, and not enough deep work on what matters most. They often feel like they’re working so hard, but their health, mental well-being, and relationships suffer, or are not as optimal as they would like them to be. Q Q Q FINANCE MONTHLY CEO AWARDS 2019 UNITED KINGDOM 30

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