Dallas Foodie Credits Education For A Sweet Career In Service Industry
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Doug Snyder has been the General Manager of the Dallas Lovers Lane Central Market, a division of HEB, for the past three years. Snyder trained at Austin’s Central Market store on North Lamar and became General Manager before moving to Dallas.
As a lifelong foodie, Snyder grew up in Florida and worked for several restaurants. As VP of franchise operations for Bennigan’s and Tony Roma’s, Snyder worked with expanding the companies’ presence internationally. He said it was a good fit for him because it allowed him to expand his “foodieness” by learning about other cultures. His work took him to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and South America.
In reflecting on what brought him to the place he is now, Snyder pointed to his education.
He started at Georgia Tech but did not finish his degree. “It was challenging. I learned a lot about life as a young man in Atlanta, but not in school,” said Snyder.
In the wake of his first attempt at college, Snyder became the owner of a small chain of nightclubs, which introduced him to the service industry. After almost a decade working as a manager/owner of five nightclubs, he acknowledged that the nightclub business is a tough one, then decided to try something new and follow his father’s footsteps as a CPA.
After earning an accounting degree from the University of Florida and passing the CPA exam, he decided the financial industry was not for him, and was hooked on the service industry.
What do you love about the service industry?
“It is the people side. Both our customers and our partners (which is what we call our employees) are invigorating. Five hundred people work here [at the Dallas Lovers Lane Central Market] and 35,000 people visit the store every week. I can always take a walk in the store and feel better. It is something about the energy of the people in the building. I love coming to work.”
Tell us about being a returning student.
“I was 30 years old when I returned to school. It was much easier the second time because I paid attention and went to class. I remember one finance class met Friday nights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. I was the only student that went to every class. Nobody wanted to go because they were young and wanted to go out. I am proud that I went back to school and got the degree. It was important to me to complete my degree as a personal goal.”
What do you look for in hiring?
“When I look at resumes for hiring managers or people at the director level, I look at their education and degree level because it shows a discipline. I think that is part of the education process, the dedication to stick with it.”
Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com