Miriam’s Signature Magic: Transforming Restaurants, One at a Time



Miriam Aguilar is the Restaurant General Manager (RGM) for our Riverside, CA Taco Bell. She has a fantastic track record, though she’s only been with us for four years. You could say Miriam has a magic touch for turning around struggling restaurants.

From the very start, we handed Miriam a challenge. She says her first Taco Bell in San Jose, CA, was in poor shape upon arrival, but she was able to quickly transform it into a best-in-class Signature Restaurant. Then she got pregnant, had a baby, took time off, came back to us … and found herself in the same position, different location!

But we knew we could count on her. Miriam works hard to “fix” restaurants and inspires teams to do better. In one instance, she became manager of a location that was understaffed.

I started hiring people and showed them that we can create an environment that can be fun,” she says. “… you know if the environment doesn’t feel good, I try to change that. Part of Miriam’s strength as a manager comes from her emphasis on improving team member attitudes. She believes making everyone feel important is key. And that dancing and “happythoughts” also help!

I always say to the people, You know what? Thank you for show[ing] up for work, this is very important to me.It is important for everybody, you know? 

This kind of personal attention from leadership can inspire the excellence needed to create a first class Taco Bell. We have specific metrics for achieving Signature Restaurant status that touch on customer service, drive-thru speeds, safety audit requirements, sales metrics and restaurant training expectations, and Miriam knows how to hit those targets!

So what does she have to say about being repeatedly tapped to turn restaurants around for the better? Miriam appreciates the challenge and feels a sense of accomplishment each time she reaches that coveted signature status. She’s grateful for company support.

“This company … they give me a lot of support,” she says about DRG. “That’s why I try to make a contribution to them to say thank you to them, because they help me.”

“They care about people, they care about me. – Miriam Alguilar, RGM

To Miriam, there’s lots of opportunity here. She doesn’t think many people understand what’s possible and yet DRG is at the ready to support team member development with bonuses, opportunities to climb the career ladder and great benefits. Miriam has made it her personal mission to make sure others know about these tools.

If I can do it, then they can do it, too.” – Miriam Alguilar, RGM

Most recently, Miriam asked if she could change locations to be closer to home. DRG was totally supportive. She couldn’t believe it! She says she was given time to move and finish helping her Assistant General Manager (AGM) transition into the lead manager role. Now, according to her, “that store is getting better everyday.” That’s what we call the “Miriammagic”!