Lupe portrait

Lupe Fuentes, Hobee’s Redwood Shores

Name:                         Lupe Fuentes
Home Hobee’s: Hobee’s Redwood Shores
Length of Service: 1 year
Position:       Host
Why She’s The One: Lupe has a great Hobee’s pedigree: Her parents are Redwood Shores superstars Hilario Fuentes (Kitchen Manager) and Veronica Nuve (Cook).  In her first year at Hobee’s, Lupe has done her parents – and the entire crew – proud. Her fellow employees rave about her hosting skills and say that the weekends would be much more stressful without her.  Lupe is described as “hard working”, “very smart”, and “friendly and efficient”.  She will no doubt use those qualities to her benefit as she pursues her future career.  (She has plenty of time to map that out since she just graduated from Woodside High!)  We congratulate Lupe on being named Star Employee of the Month!


Diaz close up

Roberto Diaz, Hobee’s Redwood Shores

Name:                         Roberto Diaz
Home Hobee’s: Hobee’s Redwood Shores
Length of Service: 7 years
Position:       General Manager
Why He’s The One: Rob has very quietly presided over one of the biggest growth spurts our northernmost location has had in a very long time.  With all of the attention on Palo Alto after Stanford closed in January, Rob and his crew have made us take notice by capturing a large number of former Stanford regulars and giving them a new Hobee’s home. Rob enjoys building the business and does it one customer at a time. He’s always smiling, attentive and well-dressed.  Large parties and even larger orders don’t stress him out. He frequently chips in and helps his fellow employees and managers. Rob has been particularly helpful with helping us store all of our excess equipment from other locations at his huge restaurant.  Congratulations on this distinction, Mr. Diaz!



Tina Favaloro, Hobee’s Pruneyard (In Memoriam)

Name:                         Tina Favaloro
Home Hobee’s: Hobee’s Pruneyard
Length of Service: 12 years
Position:       Manager
Why She’s The One: After a brief battle with cancer, Tina passed away in Saratoga in the company of her loving family this spring.  Tina worked at Hobee’s Pruneyard as a server and manager for over a dozen years. She was a seasoned restaurant pro and performed her duties with confidence and an ever-present smile. Tina loved her customers and always took extra time with her regulars. Her hearty laugh could often be heard echoing through the restaurant. She was a favorite of co-workers who found her warm spirit to be inspiring and infectious. A few weeks ago before her death, we presented Tina with our annual Hobee’s Hero Award in recognition of her strength in the face of adversity. All of us at Hobee’s will miss her dearly.


Jose Portrait

Jose Luis Salto, Hobee’s Palo Alto and Stanford

Name:                         Jose Luis Salto
Home Hobee’s: Hobee’s Palo Alto and Stanford (RIP!)
Length of Service: 17 years
Position:       Server
Why He’s The One: We chose Jose Luis as the recipient of this year’s Paul Taber Commitment to Excellence Award, given each year to an employee who demonstrates the founder’s legendary dedication to service and quality.  Jose Luis began working for Hobee’s as a host in 1996. In his years as a server at both Stanford and Palo Alto, he has won the friendship and admiration of his many co-workers.  General Manager Jose Valencia says that Jose Luis is extremely responsible and an “all-around good guy”. He has also cultivated wonderful relationships with scores of regulars who ask for his section.  He is a terrific example for those at Hobee’s who want to move up through the ranks.  Jose Luis has succeeded in his job through consistency and determination.  We’re proud to honor his contributions to Hobee’s with our 20th annual Paul Taber Commitment to Excellence Award and Star Employee Award.


Hobee's store front at Stanford

Crew of Hobee’s Stanford

Name:                         30+ dedicated employees
Home Hobee’s: Hobee’s Stanford
Length of Service: 2 months – 27 years
Position:       From dishwasher to General Manager
Why They’re The One: Counting down the final weeks of Hobee’s Stanford was no easy task. Everyone was dreading January 6th, but the crew wanted to go out on top and make the final days special for our customers. They absolutely met their goal. Jose Valencia and Daniel Chijate did a terrific job juggling their schedules while placing Stanford employees at their new Hobee’s homes. In the end, many long-term employees were on hand to see the conclusion of a magnificent era, including: Presciliano Melchor (27 years), Daniel Chijate (24 years), Tomasa Anaya (22 years), Sergio Carlos (19 years), Jose Valencia (18 years), Jose Luis Salto (17 years), Cecilia Reyes (15 years), Gabriel Pardo (13 years), Rafael Virrueta (13 years), Teodoro Campos (13 years), Eliseo Moreno (12 years) and Francisco Zuniga (11 years). Thanks to these veterans and everyone at Stanford for a fabulous run!


Modesto close up

Modesto Villalon, Hobee’s Redwood Shores

Name:                         Modesto Villalon
Home Hobee’s: Hobee’s Redwood Shores
Length of Service: 15 Years
Position:       Server / Assistant Manager
Why He’s The One: Though he looks like he’s young enough to be a college student, Modesto has put in some serious time at Hobee’s: 15 years! We’re especially proud that he started as a busser and worked his way up to server and assistant manager positions. The ever-smiling Modesto was able to advance because he has a great work ethic and is always trying to learn the next thing. Modesto’s kindness is well-known to his co-workers. A great recent example of his selflessness is when he helped a distressed motorist fix his car in front of the restaurant. Even though the man wasn’t even a customer, Modesto patiently helped him until he was able to drive away safely.  We’re so glad to have Modesto on our team and congratulate him on this honor!


Annie Portrait

Annie Dungan, Hobee’s Pruneyard

Name:                         Annie Dungan
Home Hobee’s: Hobee’s Pruneyard
Length of Service: 9 Months
Position:       Server / Assistant Manager
Why She’s The One: Annie came to Hobee’s Pruneyard after moving from Texas three days before Christmas last year. She was indeed a terrific holiday gift to the restaurant. Always upbeat and positive, she quickly became a favorite of customers. When Felipe needed to fill management shifts this summer, Annie enthusiastically entered the management training program and thrived. According to VP Camille Chijate, she performed at a high level right out of the gate. Host Sydney Clark added: “Annie has wonderfully taken on the new challenge of manager and gives outstanding customer service. She makes her guests feel valued.” We’re thrilled to have Annie on our team and congratulate her on this honor!


Pedro portrait

Pedro Soto, Hobee’s Palo Alto

Name:                         Pedro Soto
Home Hobee’s: Hobee’s Palo Alto
Length of Service: 11 Years
Position:       Night Cook
Why He’s The One: The challenge of working at Hobee’s during the night shift is that the business is not nearly as predictable as breakfast and lunch. It can be very slow or insanely busy. No matter how hectic it gets during the Palo Alto dinner period (including some huge orders), Pedro Soto always maintains a great attitude and a smile on his face. His food quality is consistently excellent and always plated with care. Since Pedro works at the Hobee’s in front of the Corporate Office, he often faces an extra level of scrutiny from the owners and other VIPs. His creations often cause co-owner Peter Taber to compare Hobee’s dinner fare to much more expensive fine dining establishments. We’re very fortunate to have employed Pedro for the past eleven years and congratulate him on this honor!


Selena portrait

Selena Villegas, Hobee’s Sunnyvale, Montague and Mountain View

Name:                         Selena Villegas
Home Hobee’s: Hobee’s Sunnyvale, Montague and Mountain View
Length of Service: 1 Year, 8 months
Position:       Manager
Why She’s The One: Selena has been incredibly flexible with her schedule this spring. Already splitting her time between Sunnyvale and Montague (with some Los Gatos shifts thrown in too), she jumped in to help at Hobee’s Mountain View when scheduling there became problematic. Selena’s can do attitude has definitely been noticed by her co-workers, customers and even a recent secret shopper, who wrote: “Selena was the epitome of a great manager. She was circling the floor, talking to guests and helping the server. She was smiling, laughing and very friendly.” Selena also learned how to do the SYSCO order and several other items generally reserved for the General Manager.  It’s always exciting to witness an employee step up to an unexpected challenge. We thank Selena for all of her help throughout the past several weeks and congratulate her on this award.


Alba and guest portrait

Alba Romero, Hobee’s Pruneyard

Name:                         Alba Romero
Home Hobee’s: Hobee’s Pruneyard
Length of Service: 14 Years
Position:       Host
Why She’s The One: Alba is one of our holdovers from Hobee’s Town and Country in San Jose. After that restaurant closed in 2000, she fortunately moved to the Pruneyard (alongside her husband Humberto, the Assistant Kitchen Manager) where she has been a rock star host ever since. Pruneyard Manager Tina Favaloro said: “All of the severs are so happy when they find out Alba is scheduled. The day is just so much smoother when she’s in charge of the bar.” What makes her so great? According to her co-workers, Alba never takes short cuts, is fast and effiicient, and always pitches in, even if it’s not her section. Server Nick Butera added: “Her drinks are  PERFECT!” “Perfect”: a word that sums up Alba’s performance quite nicely. We congratulate her on being our Star Employee of the Month!