School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Sam Shewan

Sam Shewan

General Manager, Owner
Fitzpatrick's Tavern
Solvang, CA

Current Job & Responsibilities:
My duties include all aspects of management for a full service restaurant operation. As 100% owner, I am also responsible for this side of my company. Being a hands on GM, I'm integrated into the service. I often work alone or with a team. I'm part of the schedule, bartending and serving tables. This way I can personally interact with my guests and know they had a positive experience while visiting.

What I Learned From the HRTM Program:
I thought my teachers did a great job conveying that this industry is more of a lifestyle than a career. The broad spectrum of course material gave me a solid foundation to build a career upon. Earlier in my journey, my degree was influential in getting me job offers. Meeting alumni industry professionals was my favorite part, I found this very inspiring.

What I Most Enjoy About My Career:
I get to meet new people and make friends every day. Developing staff. Seeing my customer’s happy faces when they are amazed by our food, and getting five-star Yelp reviews when they mention me personally by name!

Memorable Experience:
Buying my restaurant has completely changed my life. This has always been a dream. It was also a major financial investment, that has paid off. I moved to a small tourist town to do this, after fifteen years in LA. Everything I had learned in school and while working for others, I have been able to apply to my own restaurant.

I have been managing restaurants since my graduation in 1999. Four different states, all different kinds of concepts. Fine dining, sports bars, The Cheesecake Factory, Italian, Coffee Shop, Sushi, Night Club, Landry's 'Chart House', and now, my own Irish Pub!