• Pricing
  • Get a Free Demo


Tony Smith of Restaurant365: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A CEO

Tony Smith of Restaurant365: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A CEO

Tony Smith is the Chief Executive Officer and a Co-founder of Restaurant365. He focuses on innovation to move the industry forward and today is passionate about long-term strategy, building an engaging, inviting culture, and the growth of individuals and the business.

This interview first appeared in Authority Magazine.

AM: Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

TS: Interestingly, I was afraid of computers and didn’t own one when I got to college. Still, I was interested in business and knew computers would become a part of almost every business job. So, I decided to make myself comfortable with them by majoring in Business Management & Information Systems. I never expected to actually work “in computers,” but my first job out of school was a tech role, and there, I realized how much I loved technology and what the future of software would do for the business world.

That interest in solving problems with software drew my co-founders and me to the restaurant industry. The problems restaurants struggled to solve aligned perfectly with our skills, and when we looked at what was available on the market, we knew we could create a more complete solution to help restaurants thrive.

AM: Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

TS: We weren’t restaurant people when we began — we were software people. To get started, we interviewed a lot of restaurant folks. The funniest experiences were probably when we’d go to restaurants and wait until they closed at night to talk with the manager, who must have been a little concerned we were stalking them. I remember asking for a clipboard so I could count inventory with them, and they probably thought we were crazy, joining in their job for free. Those sessions helped us uncover the biggest problems they were facing. It was shocking to learn how complex running a restaurant is from the need to reduce food waste, control costs, and manage labor. Restaurant people are so hardworking, and it’s a privilege to work with them and help solve those problems.

AM: in just a few words can you explain what an executive does that is different from the responsibilities of the other leaders?

The CEO role is unique in that you are the only one who writes your job description and doesn’t report to anyone. The primary function of the CEO is “whatever the company needs at that time,” and it often changes. For me personally, I focus on five priorities:

Read the full interview at Authority Magazine