A Banker & A Restaurant Owner Swap Careers For Greener Pastures

Jeannette GoldmanUncategorizedLeave a Comment

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A Banker & A Restaurant Owner Swap Careers For Greener Pastures

Why would successful banker, Syed a Hong Kong-born Pakistani working in New York quit his well-paying job to start a restaurant in Hong Kong?

He believes that a good entrepreneur must have a solid foundation in finance. Besides, he was raised in a family of restaurateurs.


Why would a restaurant and catering business owner Patricia become a successful small business banker in St. Petersburg Florida?

She believes that a good small business banker must have a solid foundation in business ownership and salesmanship.




When Syed turned six, he was sent to a boarding school in Pakistan. He graduated from the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he majored in finance and international relations. Young Syed went back to Hong Kong during summer vacations to visit the family and help with the family businesses, one a Pakistani-Indian restaurant. “Other kids would have summer camps or classes, but I had to spend all day cleaning the toilet,” he recalls.

During the summer’s in her teens Pat served food and washed dishes at a local Golf Country Club and also worked part-time at a local Pool Chemical company. Pat worked two jobs during some summers and was a camp counselor during her freshman and sophomore college years. She enjoyed the benefits of being able to golf while working at the country club and had the opportunity to go pro but opted out to enjoy typical teenage years. She graduated from Fredonia State University, Fredonia NY with a BS Business Administration Degree.

To learn more about Pat (restaurant financing) and her position at Start Your Restaurant Business  Click Here

A Banker & A Restaurant Owner Swap Careers For Greener Pastures

Growing up in the family restaurant played a big role in Syed decision to become a food entrepreneur.

Selling, owning food establishments and retail businesses has played a big role in Pat’s decision to become a banker and help others become businesses owners, just as she had the opportunity to.

They both are continuing to serve and help others Syed, through his successful restaurants and Pat through her financial  advice to those wanting to own restaurants and small businesses.

Five years ago, Syed decided to move back to Hong Kong to open his first restaurant. Friends teased him and his family was not very sure if it was a good idea. He didn’t bother about what others were saying, though he knew they cared about him.

“Though a lot of people around you care for you, they might say things that upset you like asking you to avoid taking risks. You’ve got to believe in what you’re doing. If you do not believe in yourself, no one else will.” Sayed said.

In order to get a true understand  of working of local restaurants, he began by working as a waiter. “It was tough, as I used to be a white-collar executive sitting all day in the office. It was weird; I had to stand all day carrying a tray. I had no experience and earning little salary.”

Surviving as an apprentice for a year,  got a clear picture of restaurant operations.

He and a friend, Christopher Mark, established the Black Sheep Restaurant brand and opened their first restaurant, Boqueria, in Lan Kwai Fong, Central,  La Vache inspired by steakhouses in New York and Paris;and  Carbone a New York-style Italian restaurant with a touch of nostalgia.






After owning 3 businesses and selling  businesses, Pat from the advice of friend and a onetime co-worker suggested she apply for a banking position at the bank he was  happily working at. Hence her banking career began.

Pat is in the grey suit!

She has held the position of Branch Manager, Small Business Banker  and Financial Advisor and is entering her 14th year of banking.

Sayed sees himself as an entrepreneur first, a dreamer and an artist second. “Most entrepreneurs often turn a blind eye to risks. My training as a financier equips me with a set of skills that assists me in conducting analysis and identifying business risks.” As an owner of nine restaurants, Sayed has to work from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day and he has no issues about doing low-level tasks. He still recalls the very first month at Boqueria. “The business was slow in the first week. It was better in the second. On Thursday night of the third we got 240 orders. That’s crazy as I hadn’t felt ready for it. There were only five staffers including myself serving the diners. We made a lot of mistakes but it was our first step to succeed.”

Pat sees herself as a business banker first, a coach and entrepreneur second. “I know what it’s like to truly be in my clients shoes. I feel comfortable guiding them and helping them make the right  decision in their businesses.” She believes it’s just not her job to express the importance of having enough financial backing but she offers her advice and presses upon them “if you are going into a business you have no experience in you need to attain experience or be sure you put the right people in the jobs you can’t do.” Pat has the experience to not only be a banker but also a mentor from a professional angle. She is always there to lend an ear and give realistic advice. “Owning my own businesses  has definitely given me the ability to build trusting financial relationships with local businesses something you can’t get a degree in, it’s only learned from hands on ownership experience.”


A Banker & A Restaurant Owner Swap Careers For Greener Pastures

It’s not unusual for the average person to have several careers and or jobs in one life time.

Don’t be afraid to take the plunge! If you are truly unhappy with your current career or job, stop complaining and start researching. We spend half our awake lives at work, you should be doing something you want and are proud of. Check the article below out.

The 10-Step Plan to Career Change: How to Successfully Change Careers

If you have interest in the restaurant and food industry check out my site, I’ll be glad to answer any questions from our contact page.




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