How I Got There: Restaurant Management | Zack Schwab (COL ‘11)
Posted in Student & Alumni Stories
Zack Schwab studied Psychology in the Georgetown College of Arts & Sciences and is now a Managing Partner at The Snug San Francisco. Learn how Georgetown shaped his path, what led him to his current position, and more insights regarding his company and the broader food and beverage industry:
How did you find your current position?
I met three very creative and like-minded individuals in the Food & Beverage industry and we developed the concept, found the location, and raised the money to open our own bar/restaurant.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different. There are a million moving parts. Hiring/managing staff, ordering and organizing product and supplies, maintaining the customer-facing restaurant space, dealing with vendors, finances, marketing/PR/social media, and then there is actual service itself at 4 pm everyday when our doors are open to guests, and you never know what’s going to happen (POS system goes down, unhappy guest, etc.).
And, then there’s the process of fundraising, finding a location, and designing the space once we want to open a new place. Oh, and the fun part of tasting new food & beverages, of course.
What surprised you the most when you started working?
When I first got a job at a software company straight out of school, I was shocked at how much I absolutely hated it. I stuck with that job for a bit over 2 years, because I knew I could learn from it, and I did.
I don’t regret it at all, but I think that you just know pretty quickly when you’re not built for an office job. And it’s OK to admit that to yourself and your friends/family and do something else –– even though it might be unusual compared to your peers at Georgetown.
What skills are most needed in your role?
Creativity, flexibility, organization, hospitality, empathy, passion and grit.
What are the best ways for students to learn more about your industry?
“Stage” (intern) at a restaurant that you love. Get an internship with a larger hospitality company like Union Square.
If you could go back and change one thing, what would that be?
I wouldn’t change anything, as I have gained invaluable knowledge from every career decision I’ve made. But, I wish I had understood that I didn’t need to follow the stereotypical (consulting, finance) career path right out of school.