Meet the Team: Jason Gautier, Finance Associate!
Name: Jason Gautier
Position: Finance Associate (formerly Operations Executive)
Been with Smunch since: 15 March 2017
Favorite Smunch meal: Curried Salmon (from W - Der Imbiss)
What made you decide to apply for a job at Smunch?
In my old job as Office Manager, Smunch were subletting office space from my company. I met the guys on several occasions and saw them daily. When I was looking for a new job, I mentioned it to my friend in passing. She invited me for a chat to tell me about Smunch and I soon had a follow-up chat with the founder. Then suddenly colleagues were welcoming me to the team… at this point I hadn’t even received a job offer! But I really like the team so I of course accepted when the offer came.
Tell us the story about your start at the company. What were the first weeks like?
I was not here from the beginning of Smunch but from early on. When I started we had one restaurant per day and a good number of orders but nothing compared to the scale we have today. My days were initially spent shadowing the Head of Operations and defining my own role as it was entirely new. This included putting Smunch stickers on all the lids for the meals Smunchies receive. There was a lot of pressure and at times it was stressful but the motivation of the company to grow and improve was felt by all.
Anything you miss about your previous job(s)?
I miss the people, not the job, if that makes sense to you. I am a very team focused person so I build and built friendships as well as team spirit. It’s what I liked about Smunch, though we were less than 10 people, the drive was there and everyone was approachable.
Do you feel like your job/position matters and is appreciated?
I am an integral part of the team and am told often that without me, things in the office could easily fall apart/break and no one else could fix it. I have often just been present with a failing printer and miraculously it would work again without me having to do anything… it’s a gift.
Do you feel like you’ve grown since you started working at Smunch?
I have grown in leaps and bounds and learned so many things. Smunch has opened my eyes in many ways. Take food, for example: I used to be a very fussy eater, like a toddler in a grown man’s body. New foods were alien to me, but working directly with restaurants and seeing how food was prepared gave me incentive to try new foods. I still believe that you can’t endorse Smunch without first trying our product. Before Smunch, chia was a type of “pet” to me which was grown on an array of porcelain characters - now I know and enjoy it as a nutritious grain for sustenance.
No, Jason, this is not edible!
What has been your biggest challenge here so far?
The biggest challenge for me was staying motivated and putting in extra time where possible at the office when we were increasing our output. It was hard to balance this with my life with a one year-old son at home.
What about your job makes you want to get up every morning - no matter how cozy your bed is?
This is a real hard one, there are a lot of good reasons why I come to work. There is always the financial side of working for a salary and is probably most people’s “go to” answer to this question. However, I love the people here. Our Operations team had just three delivery drivers when I started - I interviewed and brought on some who are now progressed and working full-time in Operations. We now have over 20 drivers on the delivery team in Berlin alone and I love the interaction with these guys and girls on a daily basis.
So the team here is my biggest reason to come to work… and the money.
What was the funniest moment you had here? Or do you have an anecdote you’d like to share?
There are many times you laugh at Smunch (and occasional times when you want to cry). I laugh every day with the team and there are too many good moments to share them all. What I love is when my son comes to the office. Now he’s walking and talking and his interactions with the guys at the office are adapting. He enjoys seeing them and some days gives a round of High Fives to everyone.
How are you experiencing the company culture at Smunch?
With 14 years background working in banks, a start-up was a culture shock in itself. I was used to wearing a suit and tie or uniform for my entire adult career. Changing to a job where your performance and what you put into the company is what counts - not if your shirt is ironed or your tattoo is visible - is a joy which makes me love working at Smunch.
Imagine you could buy one thing for Smunch (no matter the price). What would you go for?
It’s a tough one, “no matter the price” is a hard term to follow when you work in Finance and try to keep things reasonable. If money were no option and we had the space, I would love to have a multifunctional recreation area made for the team. For example a large area divided (maybe with walls to a degree) into a quite area for rest or even power naps, a social area to sit and drink a coffee while talking and a more active area with maybe some gym equipment or sports facilities.
What's one thing you wish you knew before you started working here?
I wish I had a better understanding of the foundation of starting a business from scratch. That way I could have given advice or made suggestions as opposed to asking questions in the early stages.
How do you picture Smunch’s future? / Where do you think the company is headed?
I want to see Smunch in more countries! Expanding into other cities is one thing but why stop there?
Besides contributing to happy teams and their healthy lunches, what do you enjoy in your free time?
I am an artist in my spare time, I work happily on comics and cartoons. But my greatest joy is being a husband and father. My son’s laugh will brighten my day even in the darkest days of winter.
(Copyright: Jason Gautier)