From Tech to Taste: How a Tech Professional Became a Restaurant Owner with Square

Nomo staff in front of their restaurant

Kevin Hughes, a seasoned tech professional, had spent over a decade in the tech industry, working for renowned companies like eBay, Airbnb and Google. With expertise in creating websites and enhancing user interactions, Kevin’s career was marked by hyper-growth and innovation. However, deep down, his true passion had always been food. Although he had never pursued it before, his love for food, especially Ramen, never waned. Growing up in Dublin, Kevin often dreamed of one day opening his own restaurant. However, the barrier to entry in the restaurant industry was high, making it seem like an impossible dream. That was until fate intervened and presented him with an opportunity he couldn’t resist.

Learning a new industry from scratch

Kevin’s journey from the tech industry to the food industry was not without its challenges. He lacked experience in the restaurant business and had to learn an entirely new industry from scratch. Hiring the right staff, including chefs and front-of-house personnel, proved to be a daunting task as it required a different skill set. Kevin acknowledged his limited experience in hospitality but looked to hire the best team possible to be set up for success. The transition from the predictable and scalable tech industry to the ever-changing world of food brought its own set of unique obstacles.

Simplifying the process with Square

One of the crucial aspects Kevin focused on while preparing to open his restaurant was finding the right point-of-sale (POS) system. Having dined at numerous establishments, he had noticed the prevalence of old-fashioned POS systems. Months before the grand opening, Kevin reached out to Square, to explore its features and product functionalities. Comparing it with other POS options, Kevin found Square’s simplicity and intuitive user experience to be a perfect fit for his background in product development, UX, and technology.

Square’s comprehensive ecosystem of solutions sealed the deal for Kevin. With its easy-to-use interface and hardware options, Square provided a streamlined and efficient system for taking orders. The transition from pen and paper to a user-friendly digital platform amazed Kevin and his staff. Square’s familiarity and reliability made it an ideal choice for Nomo Ramen.

Picture of Square's point of sale inside Nomo restaurant

Learning a new industry and managing the challenges that came with it required perseverance and determination. Kevin advises aspiring restaurant owners to ignore generic industry statistics and instead focus on their passion for the business. He emphasises that genuine love and dedication breed success, and any problems that arise can be overcome with the right mindset.

“If you genuinely love what you’re doing, there’s a very high chance that you will succeed.”

Bao bun

Surrounding yourself with the right people

Another crucial aspect of Kevin’s success was building a strong team around him. Recognising the importance of the human element in the food and beverage industry, he emphasises the significance of loyalty and teamwork. While the operational and administrative aspects of running a restaurant can be learned over time, surrounding yourself with passionate and dedicated individuals who share the vision is key to achieving success.

“Surrounding yourself with passionate and dedicated individuals who share the vision is key to achieving success”

Square’s Role in Success: Data Insights and Reporting

Square’s role in Kevin’s restaurant has been instrumental. Serving as their data centre, Square enables Kevin to access real-time sales data, providing valuable insights into the best-performing products. This feature is particularly crucial in the hospitality industry, allowing Kevin and his team to make informed decisions regarding food preparation and inventory management. Square’s user-friendly reporting system saves time and effort, making it easier to focus on what’s important for restaurant owners, the customers.

“Square has been our data centre ever since we opened. We’re able to access live sales and see our best selling products. In hospitality, it’s an amazing feature.”

Kevin’s journey from the tech industry to becoming a restaurant owner exemplifies the power of following one’s passion. With Square as a reliable partner, Kevin was able to overcome the challenges of venturing into a new industry and create a successful restaurant that resonates with his love for food. His story serves as an inspiration for those looking to embark on their own entrepreneurial journey, proving that with determination, the right tools, and a dedicated team, dreams can become a reality.

Experience the mouth watering bowls of Nomo Ramen for yourself at Charlottes Way, Dublin 2.