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December 8, 2022
Why [me]: Sam's Story
Having grown up balancing the books and doing payroll for her dad’s boat company, Samantha Fredo Smyth didn’t plan to stay in the service industry as an adult. But, as many of us know, the service industry is a tough one to escape especially as it provides tools and skills that can be applied to many different jobs (hint: this is foreshadowing).
Sam started working in - you guessed it - the service industry, right once she got home from college as a bartender and waitress. Through hard-work and dedication she worked her way to general manager of Cowboy Jack’s (think, biker bar meets the Wild Wild West) in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
While general manager, she was introduced to a little tech start-up that worked out of the office above a Starbucks, called MarginEdge (that’s us), coincidentally bringing us our first, big, multi-unit restaurant group.
There, Sam became a MarginEdge superuser and worked hard to get all Cowboy Jack’s locations using our software. The platform Sam and her team started using in 2016 is a very different platform from the one we have today. Back then we didn’t even charge restaurants to use MarginEdge because, in all honesty, we were still working out the kinks. That’s a different story today, thanks to the product and dev team for making that magic happen!
Eight years, dozens of holidays and countless weekends later, Sam needed a change (and we certainly don’t blame her). She found herself chatting with Jill Fountain-Weston, her original sales rep that brought her onboard (thanks Jill!), who suggested that Sam apply to a newly created role: customer experience manager. No surprise, she got the job.
Being part of the CX team means Sam is customer facing, so when a client files a help desk ticket and needs help with sorting their count by’s for instance, Sam is able to apply her experience as a real life user of MarginEdge to help clients. This benefits both our clients and Sam, as Sam helps them get the most out of our platform, and our clients’ feedback gives her insight into improving internal operations and processes (here’s where that previously mentioned foreshadowing about service industry skills being applicable outside of those jobs comes to fruition). Although Sam is on the CX team, she floats around quite a bit to other departments to share her insight and help where she can (but Marketing is her favorite).
When asked what is the most useful part of being a previous user while working at [me], Sam said it’s being able to know which questions to ask operators so she can better assist them and help them with the, “Well, what do we do now?” questions. Having been in their shoes, Sam understands the time, effort, and occasional frustrations implementing new technology in a restaurant brings (or - if we’re being honest - implementing new technology anywhere…looking at you Zoom).
Sam spends her weekdays in back-to-back meetings continually learning about our platform (an ongoing task for all [me]ople), aiding our clients and frankly, kicking ass.
When reflecting back on her time as general manager, she notes that she doesn’t miss working restaurant hours, weekends and holidays because now she gets to spend more time with Brody, her 9 year old son who is diagnosed with non-verbal autism. He is her true ‘why’ and the reason she gets out of bed in the morning. Fun fact, this Thanksgiving was the first holiday (and first time in general) Sam had five days off in a row in more than ten years - all thanks to MarginEdge!
Although it has only been a few months since Sam came onboard, she has made an everlasting impact on MarginEdge as a whole with her attitude, energy and experience! We could not be happier to have another client-turned-team-member like Sam, because she truly lives out our mission of helping operators succeed day in and day out.