Jonathan is Partner & Director of Strategic Growth at Between The Bread.
What is your job description and what are your responsibilities?
I wear many hats. What takes most of my time is regional operational management and oversight of our fresh-casual eateries. I am also responsible for overseeing all marketing and advertising initiatives, liaising with public relations teams, and lots of decision making related to business growth and development. I have also taken over initiatives related to corporate sustainability and efficiency in operation.
What career path led you to your current role?
It was a family business that I fell back into. I studied and worked in real estate finance for a while, which I think helped me learn a lot about retail business growth and development.
Describe your day-to-day schedule.
Up in the morning, visiting my eatery locations, checking in with managers, chefs and staff, inspecting team performance. When I get to my office, I work on e-mails, client and vendor relations, and managerial and operational strategies. Also everyday I take an hour to think about new business initiatives and financial concerns. Sometimes I will visit the eateries during lunch or will speak with our accounting department to review performance. Lastly, I might hop in the kitchen and experiment with the chefs on new meals and recipes.
What programs/tools do you often use?
I use Microsoft office often (word, excel, powerpoint), and some restaurant-specific software systems that are fairly intuitive, like caterease and simpleorder. I also have knowledge of quickbooks, AS400, and paycom/ADP payroll systems. But I like it best when I get to use a sharp knife and cutting board!
Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the creativity and physical hands-on work in the kitchen, client interaction and feedback, and creating and designing restaurant spaces. I also enjoy working on the sustainability component of my business and speaking with industry experts about it.
Which aspects of your job do you find most challenging?
Learning how to manage people and daily operational efficiency. It is very time-consuming and requires a lot of attention to detail. I also wear so many hats that I often have to juggle multiple projects at once, and multitasking at those levels can be very difficult.
How did you develop the necessary skill-set (e.g. courses, training, activities) to be a Partner at Between the Bread?
Mostly on the job – I leveraged knowledge from my educational background and previous work experience. I also use my intuition and judgement, it is very entrepreneurial in focus.
Is there any additional advice you would give students interested in the restaurant industry?