Director of Operations
Susan works for Levy Restaurants at Wrigley Field. She has a COOL JOB as Director of Operations.
"I didn't major in anything remotely related to the restaurant business. I had always worked in restaurants (including a several year stint in high school with Levy) but never thought that's what I would do in the 'real life,'" she said. Once out of college and still not sure what she wanted to do, Susan read the want ads and saw that Levy was looking for managers. "Well, I thought it was worth a shot so I sent my resume in and the rest in history. It's through seeing all the aspects of the business that I realized that this is what I was going to do once I was in the "real world". It is so much more exciting and interesting that I ever realized," she said.
Her first big break was getting stuck on a train. In 1990, she was on the way to work and got stuck on the train with another Levy manager. He mentioned that they were looking for managers to work in the Suites at Wrigley Field. "The suites had just been built and I knew nothing about our operations at Wrigley. When I got to work I pulled my boss aside and said "I want to transfer to Wrigley Field". He set up an interview for me and this has been my "home" for essentially the last 10 years," Susan said. This was at a time when Levy was just starting to "dabble" in sports venues. Susan said that she got into the sports scene when it was still small enough to "get noticed" but on the cusp of what has become the HUGE Sports and Entertainment division of Levy Restaurants. Although Levy still has their "signature" restaurants, they also cater the premium dining (private clubs, suites, mini-restaurants, in-seat service) in over 25 locations throughout the country.
A Day in the Life of:
During the summer on a game day, her day begins at 7am. "I arrive at work and make sure that production and set up is underway for that day's game. Throughout the rest of the day I bounce around the ballpark making sure that all of my managers, my executive chef and my staff are getting ready and that everything is under control. When the gates open, it is time for my communication skills to kick in as I make sure that we take care of the 1000 guests that will be entertained in one of our areas that day," Susan said. Her day lasts until 7pm. On non-game days it's the office work...financial reporting, menu creation, recruiting, training, volunteer work and getting ready for the next homestand. In the winters nowadays she stays at Wrigley and hosts private events in the Stadium Club and gets ready for the next season!
Susan started managing for Levy Restaurants in 1987 and transferred to Wrigley Field, as a Mezzanine Suites manager for the 1990-1993 seasons and became General Manager in 1994. In 1995, she was the General Manager of the Diamond Suites at Comiskey Park. In 1996 she was offered the position of Director of operations of all Levy areas at Wrigley Field. In the off-seasons she has also worked at 8 other Levy locations including Arrowhead Stadium (home of the Chiefs) in Kansas City, the Rose Garden (home of the Trailblazers) in Portland Oregon and one of our locations in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"The BEST part of my job is that no two days are never alike! Also, it is the great people that I get to meet and the experiences that I get to have that most people never will (the coolest of which has been working Superbowl XXXII in Miami). Also, I know that the growth potential is so HUGE with Levy right now that I can leave Chicago (if I want) and have the opportunity to live just about anywhere in the nation!"
"The nature of running a seasonal business can be rough. Having to hire a new staff every year (although I have been blessed with many "return" employees) in a time when the labor market is very tight can be a MAJOR challenge."
Words From the Wise:
"My advice is that if you don't know what you want to do as a career - don't panic! Opportunities present themselves when you least expect it. Do what you enjoy!!"
B.A. in Communications from Northern Illinois University.
For more Information:
Levy Restaurants This is a really cool website that has information on both the Restaurants and the Sports and Entertainment locations.
Restaurant Recruit - Another cool website with employment opportunities and open house events!<< back to Retail & Restaurant