Dillas has been a dream in the making for many many years. It started out as an idea in college that was fun to just think about, but all the stars aligned and made Dillas a reality! The hard work, sweat and tears are all worth it in the end… here’s my story,
Kyle Gordon, Founder
Like many great stories, the story for Dillas starts in college. While attending the University of Texas in the early 00’s I always found myself making quesadillas and eating them when I went out. I loved them. I ate them at my favorite Mexican food restaurant, at bars, and I made them at home when all I had left on the counter was tortillas and Ramen noodles, thus the Ramen Quesadilla, JUST KIDDING! It was about my junior year that I started dreaming of a quesadilla concept and would work on it in class. I wrote a (bad) business plan, I drew sketches of what the layout and design would look like, and I came up with recipes for my focused menu. I kept at this for a year or so and as I did, my roommates and girlfriend (now wife, Maggie) became aware of the concept and would help me brainstorm.
One night while brainstorming names (Quesadilla King, Dilla Villa, The Fold Over, etc…I think at one point we had 60 names on the table) the movie Napoleon Dynamite, a classic and huge hit at the time, came on. At one point there is a scene where Napoleon is hungry and asks his grandma “what’s there to eat?” She responds, “Knock it off Napoleon, make yourself a dang quesa-DILLA!” As we looked at each other we all knew that we had the name. Dillas (Pronounced Dill-uhs) was the perfect name. Dilla has since become our slang for a quesadilla and we hope Dillas will become the household name for a Primo Quesadilla Restaurant!
As my college career came to an end, my dream of opening a restaurant faded. After graduation I started asking for advice (and money) for Dillas. All I would ever hear is that I needed experience and that jumping in and starting a restaurant right after college would be a disaster. One of my many mentors, besides my loving parents, was Stewart Owens. He was my wife’s uncle and he always believed in the concept. He also believed that I should get a job in the restaurant industry to make sure I would even like it before I opened a new concept. That’s what I did; with his help I got a job at one of the fastest growing concepts in the United States. I was in love, the fast paced hospitality business was the place I fit. As they say, I had ketchup in my veins. After 4 months I was a General Manager, after 3 years I had a Certified Training Restaurant and after 5 years I was a Managing Partner. After reaching my single unit pinnacle I decided that it was time to let it go to pursue my dream, for my family, my community, and myself. About 3 years into my career Stewart passed away from cancer so part of making this a reality is for him because he always wanted to come to Dallas and start a restaurant company with me but never got the chance.
Now that I had my concept AND industry experience the final thing I needed was money. Yikes. Luckily I had some family support and was able to raise the capital required to get Dillas 1 off the ground. The funding was one thing but now I was out of a job, working on recipes, and setting up a company…a couple of things I didn’t have much experience with. After some early struggles everything came together. We found a great location in Plano to renovate, some AMAZING Team Members to hire, and we were able to bring Dillas to the people. I’m so excited to see my dream become a reality and hope that you’ll share in my enthusiasm for Primo Quesadillas!
Kyle has the first idea of a restaurant that only serves his favorite, quesadillas, while a student at UT Austin.
The name Dillas becomes obvious while watching Napoleon Dynamite with college buddies.
Kyle gets his start in a real restaurant as a shift manager to get some experience under his belt.
After only 5 short years, Kyle has reached Managing Partner with a quickly growing restaurant company.
Kyle raises capital and sets off on his own to start Dillas!