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November 18, 2021
Why [me]: Suzette’s Story
Many who make their way into the restaurant industry don’t necessarily set out with the intention of becoming lifers, and yet somehow, they do. Maybe it’s the trauma bonding from working long shifts, dealing with crazy guests, or grinding, year after year, through the craziness that is the restaurant world’s ultramarathon: Mother’s Day brunch. When we asked VP of Client Services Suzette Hoffman what keeps her coming back for more, her answer was simple. She credits her love of restaurants to the people that make them run, feeling like she’s where she’s meant to be, and experiencing the “dance”: a perfect Saturday night where you’re busier than hell, but everything runs like a perfectly orchestrated performance of table turns and fired plates.
You would think given how enmeshed Suzette is in the restaurant world that it was always something she wanted to do, but like many, she fell into it by chance and never left. After achieving her BA in Social Sciences and working for a special education department in a local school system, Suzette was approached by some friends who worked at a restaurant with a chance to be what she calls, “the oldest living hostess,” (she was in her twenties). She took the job to help pay her bills and pay off her student loans, but soon fell deeply in love with working in restaurants. Since then, Suzette has achieved a 25-year career working her way up from server to management, including becoming a director of training for some of the country’s largest restaurant groups.
How did MarginEdge get so lucky as to have Suzette on our own team, you ask? She knew co-founder Roy Philips from a previous company, and when MarginEdge started, she was working for a restaurant group she helped become an early client of MarginEdge. Eventually, the timing worked out just right and Suzette came onboard in 2018 when there were only 14 people total in the office.
Today, Suzette oversees a department of 25 people with 4 team leads. While their task of inputting and managing invoices sounds the same on paper each day, they never see the same thing twice. Her department ensures that invoices are turned into usable data for every other feature in the MarginEdge platform. Client Services takes the data input work that restaurant operators would have to do manually and churns it out in bulk so that our clients have actionable, powerful data from their invoices in 24-48 hours once fully onboarded.
“Everything a client says is captured. It all gets done, but not all at once. Comments don’t just go away; we get to all of them because every bit of input is valuable and listened to. We work to try and roadmap how each of the comments can happen,” she notes. In all truth, Suzette’s team is the foundation of everything that MarginEdge makes possible. When you hear the phrase, “from one picture to the big picture,” that big picture would not be possible without the general bad-assery that Suzette and her team possess.
When we asked Suzette about where she sees MarginEdge over the next five years or further into the future, she ironically thinks of the past. From the beginning, MarginEdge was started with the intent to make a massive impact on our industry. “It was never a question of what, but just how,” she explains. Over the past three years MarginEdge has built the right teams and systems into a solid foundation, so all that’s left to do is just go. She notes, “Even though we’re over 100 people, when we were all together at the All-Hands meeting, it still felt like we were a tight group. It doesn’t matter that we’re over 100, because we still are a small company in the way we communicate with each other.”
We’re beyond grateful to have Suzette lead our Client Services team and continue to be along for the journey, helping make MarginEdge and the industry she calls home more efficient and resilient every step of the way.