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Jose Jimenez immigrated from Mexico to the U.S. when he was 26 years old. Of all the places he could land, he says he came straight to Minnesota at the prompting of a friend. Once he got to here, everything just fell into place.

Jose joined Border Foods in March 2006 as a Cleaning Captain at our Woodbury Taco Bell, where relatives of his already worked. Today, this great guy leads the very same restaurant where he started 18 years ago, serving as Woodbury’s Restaurant General Manager (RGM). 

“It’s happiness, it’s joy for me to go to work. – Jose Jimenez, RGM 

“When I first came, I don’t speak any English,” he shares. “People talk to me and I have no idea what they say … but you know, it was a good challenge to me.

He says he picked up right away on how great Border Foods treated its people.

“I feel like family all the time,” Jose says. And he wanted to be a part of it! 

Despite the language barrier and initial lack of local connections, Jose says that his co-workers and bosses at Border Foods have always been very supportive, pointing out his potential and encouraging him to climb higher.



Jose started making tacos about a year after joining the company — and according to him, it was about time! He remembers being frustrated that he wasn’t being given a chance to learn and then, someone on the team called in sick.

I really, really want to make food because it looks so cool,” he remembers. “Peopleworking with their hands and be able to, to serve others. 

Jose got his big chance and never looked back. He became a Food Champion and eventually, got promoted to Shift Lead and Assistant General Manager (AGM). And then, he hesitated. He didn’t want to become an RGM at first; he was concerned about the extra responsibility and pressure. As an AGM, he says, he could still leave work at work.


As a loyal, hard working leader, it seems Jose couldn’t resist that next promotion forever. He became RGM at Woodbury six years ago and in his words, it’s been “life changing” for his family.

Once Jose became manager and received a pay upgrade, he says his wife was able to stop working to stay home with their kids. But, he admits, it’s not all about the money. Jose shares that he was once pursued by another company that tried offering him higher pay, but he’s found something special at Border Foods.

It was about the way that Border Foods treat[s] me,” he says. “That they always like, always care about me, they know my wife by name ... 

And now, Jose, passes on that care to his team. He says he enjoys talking to people, relating to them and genuinely cares. He’s met many friends through work, and feels close to our other restaurant leaders. 

And his hard work and attention to others has paid off! Jose has now traveled on our “Best of the Best” (BOTB) reward trip five times!


To win the BOTB trip, a restaurant needs to achieve certain metrics as a team. It’s one way we try to show our sincere appreciation for folks like Jose.

The trip is amazing, you know,” Jose says. “It feels like all the work you do over the year in some way, it’s paid off. 

Even though BOTB is all about the metrics, Jose indicates that the second time around becomes more natural.

“We were not looking for a number, we were working and enjoying what we’re doing, and the reward came along,” he shares. That was the best part it just came together, the work we did.”

I’m enjoying working for Border Foodsthis is one of my best experiences in my life.” – Jose Jimenez, RGM

The best part for us is, Jose seems genuinely happy in his role. He says that he can see himself staying put as a manager for the rest of his career.

“Not many people can say they enjoy what they’re doing,” he says. I’m happy to get up at four o’clock in the morning, every day, and go to work.” And we’re happy to have you, Jose!