June’s Employee-Anniversaries: Thinley & Christina!

June’s Employee-Owner Anniversaries!

 

Thinley Celebrates 30 Years!

On June 23rd, we celebrated the one and only Thinley’s 30th anniversary at Zachary’s! Originally hired for our kitchen crew in 1992, Thinley is now the Kitchen General Manager of Zachary’s in Rockridge and North Berkeley! Thinley is a cornerstone of our kitchen and has helped build and develop it almost from the ground up. His work ethic is legendary, as is his ever calm, cool and collected demeanor (seriously, the man is unshakeable).

 

Christina Celebrates 15 Years!

June 26th marked Christina’s 15th employee-anniversary with us! Christina joined our dining room crew for Oakland-Rockridge and North Berkeley in 2007. Her can-do attitude and precise attention to detail made her a standout who quickly moved up the ranks. Christina has worn many hats for us (seriously, she can and has done it all!) over her 15 years and now leads our HR department as our Human Resources Director!

 

 

To say we are grateful and thankful for the efforts and contributions of these two amazing individuals is to put it lightly. They have both helped grow and develop Zachary’s into the employee-owned company we are today and we couldn’t imagine Zachary’s without them. Big, huge, colossal congratulations and thanks to the both of them! ❤️🥳🎉

 

May’s Employee-Owner Anniversaries!

May ended on a high note with not one but TWO employee-owner anniversary celebrations!

Adriana celebrated her 15th Anniversary on May 25th! Originally hired in 2007 for our San Ramon kitchen crew, Adriana made the move with us last year to Pleasanton when we relocated from San Ramon! Adriana has been crucial is helping train and develop our newer crew members. We value Adriana’s hard work, effort, and expertise all around, but especially in her ability to guide and teach others ❤️

Employee-Owner Robert celebrated his 10th Anniversary on May 29th! We first welcomed Robert to our Rockridge and North Berkeley dining room crew in 2012. In 20109, Robert joined our leadership team as an assistant manager and now divides his time between Rockridge, North Berkeley, and Grand Lake! We appreciate Robert for lots of reasons, his high level of dedication and effortless blend of professionalism and personality in his role are just a few of them 🤗

Congratulations to both Adriana and Robert and a HUGE THANK YOU for all you do for Zachary’s. Our love and appreciation is unmeasurable ❤️🍕❤️

We’re Hiring For our Oakland, Berkeley, & Pleasanton Locations!

We are HIRING for our kitchen and dining rooms and offering three different open interviews to meet you!

 

WHEN: Monday, March 7th, 10am – 1pm
WHERE:
Zachary’s Grand Lake, 3917 Grand Ave, Oakland Ca

WHEN: Wednesday, March 9th, 1pm – 4pm
WHERE: Zachary’s Downtown Pleasanton, 337 Main St, Pleasanton

WHEN: Monday, March 14th, 1pm – 4pm
WHERE:
Zachary’s Rockridge, 5801 College Ave, Oakland

Drop by one of our open interviews to chat with us if you are interested in working for an award-winning, employee-owned company, that values teamwork, diversity, and fun! Read on for more information.

 

Position Details & Requirements for Dining Room

  • Must have open availability Friday evenings and all day/evening Saturdays and Sundays.
  • All positions are part-time, non-exempt (approximately 20-25 hours/week).
  • Must be 18 years of age or older to work in dining room- we serve alcohol. 
  • Dining Room positions are entry-level.
  • Previous hospitality experience is preferred, but not required to apply.
  • Dining Room positions are a combination of hosting and serving – you will rotate.
  • Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: cash handling, taking customer orders on the phone and in person, bussing the dining room and maintaining cleanliness of the restaurant, making salads, serving dine-in guests.

Position Details & Requirements for Kitchen 

  • Must be 16+ to work in the kitchen
  • Kitchen positions are entry-level, but previous experience is preferred.
  • Kitchen positions include: pizza making, pizza prep, dish washing, oven work, general cleaning and maintenance.

 

What are some perks and benefits of working at Zachary’s?

  • Competitive starting pay + tips
  • Paid meal breaks
  • Free employee meals while working
  • Pizza discounts
  • Engaging and inclusive work environment
  • Potential for growth (All of our managers have been promoted from within)
  • Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) (After 1 year of employment)
  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits (After 1 year of employment)
  • 401(k) Plan (After 1 year of employment)

To apply please click HERE now! We look forward to chatting with you! 

 

Zachary’s values diversity in the workplace and among our customers. Our company provides equal opportunity for employment to qualified applicants on the basis of experience and the ability to do the available work, without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex/gender, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity, disability, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, ancestry or any other status protected by law. Zachary’s is also committed to compliance with all fair employment practices regarding citizenship and immigration status.

COVID-19 Considerations:
We are doing everything we can to keep our team and customers safe. We have implemented processes and precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our restaurants. We provide gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer to all employees, and we encourage frequent hand-washing. In addition, we ensure frequently touched surfaces are sanitized and disinfected consistently throughout the day.

Celebrating Mon’s 5th Anniversary during Employee-Ownership Month!

Celebrating Employee-Owner Mon during Employee Ownership Month!

Not only are we celebrating employee-owner Mon’s first milestone anniversary (5 years!) in October, it’s also Employee-Ownership Month (EOM)! That’s two super great reasons to celebrate ????

Mon was hired during EOM on October 17, 2016. If you’re a regular at our Pleasant Hill location, you may recognize her from serving up yummy pizzas in our dining room or helping customers at our front counter. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mon for all your hard work and abundant personality over the past 5 years! We appreciate it and especially you! ❤️????❤️ 

Zachary’s became an 100% employee-owned ESOP in 2010, but the process began in 2006. That means we’re celebrating 15 years of employee-ownership and 11 years of being 100% employee-owned! To learn more about our journey to employee-ownership click HERE.

 

We’re Hiring for our Kitchen at All Locations!

Drop by our Open Interviews October 25th.

We’re looking to add dynamic, motivated, and team-oriented individuals to our kitchen crew at all locations! 

Already know you want to apply without reading further? Click HERE to submit an application now!

 

OPEN INTERVIEW TIME & LOCATION

Monday, October 25th, 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Zachary’s Pleasant Hill: 140 Crescent Drive, Pleasant Hill (925) 602-7000

Please note: We require all new hires to either provide documentation that they are fully vaccinated or provide a weekly COVID test and submit a request for a medical or religious exemption.


Kitchen Crew Compensation: Competitive base wages + $2/hour COVID supplemental pay + tips averaging $150 +/week 

Kitchen crew positions may include some or all of the following:

Dishwashing, pizza making, food preparation, cleaning, minor maintenance, and operation of machinery. You must be available on Sundays.


Why work for Zachary’s? Let us tell you just a few of the reasons…

  • Competitive pay + tips
  • Paid meal breaks
  • Free employee meals while working
  • Pizza discounts
  • Flexible schedule
  • Fun, family-oriented environment
  • Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) (After 1 year of employment)
  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits (After 1 year of employment)
  • 401(k) Plan (After 1 year of employment)
  • Community involvement such as local events, fundraisers, volunteering opportunities
  • Potential for growth

Click HERE to submit an application online.

Zachary’s values diversity in the workplace and among our customers. Our company provides equal opportunity for employment to qualified applicants on the basis of experience and the ability to do the available work, without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex/gender, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity, disability, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, ancestry or any other status protected by law. Zachary’s is also committed to compliance with all fair employment practices regarding citizenship and immigration status.

September Employee-Owner Milestones!

September was a big month to celebrate three of our employee-owners!

September 3rd we celebrated Sergio’s 30 year anniversary with Zachary’s! Sergio works predominately at our Rockridge and North Berkeley locations, occasionally popping over to Zachary’s on Grand Ave as well. He’s pictured along side of Chodon, who you might recognize from last month when she celebrated her own 20 year milestone.

Hignio, who you can find at Zachary’s Grand Lake, celebrated 20 years with us on September 23rd. Originally hired for Rockridge and Solano, he is one of our core kitchen members at Grand Lake. Last, but certainly not least, Antonio B rung in 15 years on September 27th! Antonio was originally hired in 2006 for our San Ramon location (alongside Frank and Antonio G from last month!). You can now find him making your delicious pizzas at the newest Zachary’s in Downtown Pleasanton.

Congratulations to these three amazing employee-owners who, quite literally, help hold us down across the Bay  ❤  Most importantly, a HUGE thank you for their combined 65 years of dedication and commitment to excellence!

August Milestone Employee-Owner Anniversaries!

August saw the celebration of THREE employee-owner milestones for a combined total of 50 years of Zachary’s experience!

Antonio (pictured with some of his favorite art) and Frank celebrated 15 years with us this month! Both joined the team in 2006 when we opened in San Ramon. You can now find Antonio lending his expertise to the dining room crew at our new Pleasanton location. Frank is our fearless leader (see: general manager) of Zachary’s in Pleasant Hill! We celebrated Antonio on 8/14 and Frank on 8/29.

Chodon became a part of the Zachary’s family in 2001 when she was hired at Zachary’s on Solano Ave. Those who are regulars of our Berkeley location may recognize Chodon from our kitchen crew and seen her hard at work making yummy pizzas. We celebrated her in all her glory on 8/21.

There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to express how thankful and appreciative we are of these three and all they do. They are amazing, wonderful, awesome, great, and holy smokes are we lucky to know them.

Congrats Chodon, Antonio, and Frank on your milestones! WE LOVE YOU! ❤

 

We Celebrated FOUR Employee Milestone Anniversaries This Month!

Four Employee-Owner Milestone Anniversaries &

85 Years of Pizza Making Experience! 

May was a big month to celebrate employee-owner milestones! We celebrated four anniversaries, that when combined equaled 85 years of pizza making experience! That’s just crazy. Words can’t express how eternally grateful we are to these four for their dedication, hard work, and commitment to excellence. We wouldn’t be who we are without them ❤

 

Marcos celebrating 30 years on May 4th!

Lobsang (aka Lobby and our Grand Lake General Manager) celebrated his 25th anniversary with us on May 5th!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We celebrated Omar’s 15th anniversary on May 22nd!

Roberto reached his 15th anniversary milestone on May 9th

 

February Employee Spotlight: Aria V!

Since 1983, Zachary’s has been making award-winning pizza in the San Francisco Bay Area. When Zachary’s founders, Zach Zachowski and Barbara Gabel decided to retire, they handed the company over to the employees via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). In 2010, Zachary’s became 100% employee owned.

For February we are shining a light on Aria, our Oakland and Berkeley Office Manager. Aria, who started with Zachary’s in 1999, has been with us since before our transition from private to employee-ownership. Aria felt the pressure of taking over a successful company from two inspirational founders, as well as the honor and responsibility of continuing the Zachary’s legacy.

 

Spotlight

Name: Aria V.

Hire Date: September 1999

Home Restaurant: Rockridge & North Berkeley

Favorite Pizza: Stuffed Spinach & Mushroom, pesto inside, pepperoni on top.

Favorite Activities: Spending time with family on outdoor adventures, softball, and baking.

Aria’s Claim to Zachary’s Fame: Aria is the creator of the Enchi-Holla seasonal special pizza! You can see her taking a bite out of her signature pizza further down the interview.

 

Interview:

Aria was interviewed by Zachary’s Marketing Manager Robin Smith on February 2nd, 2021. 

Robin (R): Hi Aria, thanks for sitting down with me!

Aria (A): Of course!

R: Let’s start at the beginning, when did you start at Zachary’s and what made you decide to work here?

A: I started at Zachary’s after I graduated college basically, September 1999. Graduated college, moved home, and then the, you know, “What am I gonna do now?” (laughs). So I had that moment and, just kinda enjoyed my summer. Had a summer job, that ended, saw Zachary’s was hiring and…I grew up right up the street on Ocean View, so knew about Zachary’s and I didn’t come here that often, but I knew people that worked here. So, of course you know, Timmy K was working here at the time and he was like,”Oh yeah! You gotta work there, it’s so you, it’s so you, you’ll like it.” So I applied and still here (laughs), 2021.

R: So, after twenty…?

A: 21 years. In September it’ll be 22.

R: What has made you stay these 22 years? What’s been the driving factor that has been, “I’m willing to stay at this job for this amount of time?”

A: Right, yes, great question. Cuz a lot of people ask me that like, “Daaang, you’ve worked there for that long!?” It’s unusual for someone to work [at a job], especially in a restaurant, for that long, and it’s basically one thing, it’s the people. It’s the people that started the company, the people that run the company, and the people that work at the company…It really is like a second family and it all started with Barbara and Zach. They made you feel like they appreciated you and that you were part of this bigger thing, and so, that kinda kept me going through the waiting tables and all that kinda stuff. The management was also always really good and communicated well and I was- I mean, you make good money too (laughs)! So when the opportunity to keep moving up and to become a manager came around, I didn’t jump at it at first, but then I thought…I’ve been with this company, and I think it was after four years, I finally accepted the management position and could see myself keep movin’ and BOOM (both laugh)! So it’s all about the people. I’m still enjoying everybody that I work with, everybody that works here. 

R: We’ve gotten that before, its come up in other spotlights, that [Zachary’s] is like a second family, and it’s people oriented, and I agree 100%. So when Barbara and Zach decided they were going to retire and were considering what they were going to do with this company that’s super successful, how did it make you feel when you found out they’d decided to give it to the employees rather than do a public sale?

A: Hmm, that’s a tough one.

R: Were you surprised that they were going to do that?

A: For sure! 

R: Were you a little anxious, like, “What does that actually mean?”

A: Yes! Totally! “What does that really mean?” Like, what, I’m gonna have to start really paying attention to things (both laugh), because I’m an owner, you know? I can’t just come to work? But then learning about it…First it was sad. Barbara and Zach were going to retire, they’re the founders, they are the backbone. So it was a little like, oh man, what are we gonna do?! But learning about it, and seeing how there was still going to be a structure and having confidence in the leaders of the company at that time, it was intriguing and then it became exciting. Then each year receiving your [ESOP: Employee Stock Ownership Program] statement it became even more exciting cuz you’re like, “Wow, ok!” It felt, I felt a little bit like an adult (both laugh) because I was saving for retirement. It definitely got its claws in me and kept me. 

R: Absolutely. So, being able to take over a successful business, doing something that’s not very common, especially at that time- you don’t see a lot of Employee Stock Ownership Programs in general- did you feel the pressure to really make sure that we maintained the legacy of Zachary’s? What [Zachary’s] is about and to make sure we continued to be that great? Did you feel that pressure? 

A: Oh for sure, for sure I did. I think because, I mean, for me, because I did work with Barbara and Zach and I knew the core values that they brought and instilled in everybody that worked for them, and how much hard work they put into building the company. I felt it my duty, my honor, to continue that, for sure. And I think back on all the different people that I’ve worked with and how they made my experience here at Zachary’s, and [they] made Zachary’s, so to continue that…I, it’s like I have to, that’s my destiny! Because [Zachary’s] is so great, if we continue to keep it great than the people that we bring on to work for us…they’ll see how great it is and they’ll want to do the same, to put in that effort, to make it their honor to make it great. So for SURE I felt it (laughs). Still do (both laugh).

R: I know, I agree, I feel it too. So almost 22 years…I assume you have stories in that time?

A: Oh my goodness, yes!

R: Can you share one of your more memorable stories? Funny, stressful, both; sometimes they become funny years after they were stressful (both laugh) Any characters…

A: Yeah, characters. The first thing that pops into my head of a character I worked with was Lae Charles. Back in the day there were only two people, two hosts, that worked at Solano during the daytime. So it was just me and Lae Charles, dishing out slices, yada yada, and- I mean, this isn’t gonna make sense cuz not everyone knows this person, but we worked with this other guy, Patrick. Patrick had this hairdo where in the front it kinda stuck up. Ok, so…I was in the back restocking something, and I’m passing the oven coming to the front and Lae was like, “Eh, can you go ring up Patrick’s dad up there?” And I was like, “Patrick’s dad? Ok.” So I go to the front and I look at this gentleman and I just started laughing (laughs), and you know, I tried to play it off, like “Oh hey! Let me ring you up! I’m having such a great day!” But it was because the gentleman had the same hairdo as Patrick, but older you know? So something so stupid and so simple, but it was the way [Lae Charles] said it, and, I don’t know, I just laughed so hard. And when Lae came back up [to the counter] he was kinda smiling, and I finished up with the customer and [Lae Charles] was like, “What’s so funny?” And I just said, “Oh my god, I can’t believe you said that right before I came up and helped this guy!” So, I guess it just goes to show how much fun a day shift at Solano, dishing out slices and ringing people up, but the people you work with [can] make it so fun, and he was so funny. I just have a lot of memories like that, where it’s just something little, small, but it lifts you up for the rest of the day, or for the rest of the night, and it makes your simple work of being a host fun and makes your day fun. So it was just stories like that always stick out in my head, like “Oh my god, Lae Charles!” He was such a jokester! 

R: And an iconic voice.

A: Oh my goodness, yes! And just to watch him actually make his way through the dining room on a busy Friday night, I was always so impressed with him. Anyways, that’s the first one that comes to my head! I laughed so hard, that customer must have thought I was crazy.

R: Or just really happy! 

A: Yeah, right? “I love this job!” (Both laugh) I gotta have a better story…no, that’s a good one! It’s the first one that comes to my head. 

R: Do you know what’s [interesting] about when I ask that question? It seems there’s always going to be this iconic story that’s some major thing, but it’s always moments like that. It’s always these very simple, in the moment stories that people tell, about a regular day of engagement. It seems like just an everyday interaction, but it brings so much joy and it stands out so much, that as you said, it’s a testament to how much fun it can be. How [moments] stand out in the day, and uplift you and you think about them years and years after.

A: Yeah! And it was such a simple little joke! Like, “Oh my god, he looks like Patrick!” (Both laugh) And then, alright, and then the little tidbit at the end, cuz I was like, “Is that, was that really Patrick’s dad??” And Lae said, “No!” (Laughs). Silly, Aria.

R: Zachary’s is obviously a Bay Area business, Bay proud. How do you think Zachary’s represents the Bay within our model and what we do? How do you think the essence of the Bay is represented here?

A: Oh. That’s a great question. I think that the casualness of us and…we don’t try to be too much, you know? We’re pretty simple; pizza, salads. We stepped it up a notch with meatballs, and a couple other appetizers at our other locations, but pretty simple. We just do [one thing] and do it well. But also the casualness of dining in, and how we kinda stack people, and you’re so close to the other person and it’s so loud in here, but it’s, it’s just the Bay! It’s kick backed, not really pretentious, or not uppity, not trying to be…it’s just Oakland, it’s the town, it’s not trying to be anything its not. I think mostly just because we started [in Oakland], and this is the home base, that kinda spread to our other locations. Solano is chill, the other locations as well. And I think it’s good that we’re taking that very relaxed yet professional approach to high quality food. I like that. 

R: I agree, I think that’s a great answer. 

A: Thank you.

*Picture was taken pre-Covid in 2019*

R: What is the thing that you’re looking most forward to getting back to within Zachary’s post Covid? 

A: Ahhhh! Ok.

R: And personally too!

A: That’s kinda a tough one because, I mean, what we’re really missing [is] the dine-in aspect of it, but…I’ve kinda enjoyed the more simpleness of just take out, you know? So that’s tough. Maybe just not wearing this mask at work? (Both laugh) But also, I guess this crosses over to personally too, is just socializing; with friends, with family, and having people I know come and dine in. Just seeing them, and being able to attend to them, but also being able to show off what we do here. So I guess I miss that workwise but also in the other half of my life too. Just gathering, with people, with family, not having to be like, oohhh, keep your distance, and…hugging friends when you see them. Yeah so, I’ll be excited to get back to that for sure. 

R: Transitioning from that, what do you like to do when you’re not at work? 

A: Oh! I like to be outside. I like to, I love spending time with my husband and my son. We go for lots of hikes, we go backpacking. I love to play softball, I miss that, a lot actually. I have been on this women’s team for, gosh, I wanna say like six or seven years, and this is the very first time that we haven’t played in an extended period of time. So, I miss my girls. But yeah, just whatever outside. I like to bake actually too. I don’t know if you knew that about me Robin. (Laughs)

R: I did not. Where are my samples?! 

A: I know! (Laughs) Not so much cooking. Which I mean, I do cook, but I definitely like to bake. I like spending time with my sisters, you know there’s four of us, I got three sisters. My brothers are cool too. Spending time with family and friends, and yeah, just getting out there. I love just going out in nature, whether it’s an extended period of time backpacking or camping, or just hiking. That’s what I like to do. Pretty simple. 

R: Thank goodness a lot of those are what you can do right now during Covid. 

A: Yes! There’s more people out there than usual (laughs). 

R: The last thing I want to ask you is very basic, but very important. What is your favorite pizza? 

A: Oh my pizza! Yes! Well, ok, woooo gosh, I’ve worked here for awhile so I’ve tried many combinations. But I have to have two, because you have to have a stuffed and a thin.

R: Totally.

A: You don’t always feel like a stuffed, especially if you eat it as much as I do. So stuffed would definitely have to be Spinach Mushroom, pesto inside, pepperoni- pepperoni on top! Makin’ it crispy! So it’s like reversing the pepperoni and the pesto. I also like that version as a thin crust. NO sauce, rolled thin, spinach mushroom, pepperoni on top, maybe no pesto though. Yeah. I’m gonna go with those two.

R: That sounds good, maybe I’ll order that thin today!

A: I know right? Mouth is watering. 

R: Well, awesome. Thank you so much for sitting down and talking with me Aria.

A: Of course Robin. 

R: It’s been a pleasure.

A: Yes, it has. Thank you. 

 

January Employee Spotlight: Hans R.

Since 1983, Zachary’s has been making award-winning pizza in the San Francisco Bay Area. When Zachary’s founders, Zach Zachowski and Barbara Gabel decided to retire, they handed the company over to the employees via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). In 2010, Zachary’s became 100% employee owned.

We’re celebrating Assistant Manager Hans for January’s Employee Owner Spotlight! Hans, who originally worked in the front of the house at our San Ramon location, has seen a lot of growth in his time at Zachary’s. Not only has he moved up in the company, but he has also had a son and gotten engaged! Hans loves that work feels like extended family, and we are so lucky to have him be a part of ours.

 

Spotlight

Name: Hans R.

Hire Date: March 2015

Home Restaurant: San Ramon & Pleasant Hill

Favorite Pizza: Italian Tomato with Chicken and Jalapeños

Favorite Food: Pasta or Carne Asada

Favorite Activities: Time with family, making music and sports

Where you can find his music: Spotify, Soundcloud and other major digital platforms under Hvns

 

Interview

*Hans was originally interviewed in March 2020 by Zachary’s Marketing Manager, Robin Smith. Pictures were taken pre-Covid. Robin met with Hans in January 2021 to update details of his previous interview.

Robin (R): Hi, Hans!

Hans (H): Hi, Robin.

R: Thanks for sitting down with me.

H: Absolutely.

R: So we’re going to start with a couple of basic questions…what is your favorite pizza?

H: My favorite pizza recently changed. It used to be the Barbeque Chicken. It was very easy, add some jalapenos to it, you’re good to go. But now, honestly, I like a little Italian Tomato, put some chicken on there and a little jalapenos. Keep it light, flavorful, that’s all I like.

R: I condone this decision one hundred percent.

[both laugh]

R: What is a favorite food of yours besides pizza?

H: Uh, unfortunately, pizza is a huge staple of my life. It was just one of those things where when I wasn’t working and I was in school it was family time so pizza was always that thing. And when I’m not working here, my son loves pizza, so always having pizza. But if I’m not having pizza you really can’t go wrong with a little pasta or a little carne asada. Yeah, keep it simple.

R: When did you join the Zachary’s team?

H: I started working for Zachary’s about six years ago.

R: What made you, six years ago, decide Zachary’s was a place you wanted to apply?

H: I’ve always had a job, but only kept it for about a year because I couldn’t find anything…after a year you kind of get tired of everything, but with Zachary’s, after applying, loved it immediately, two weeks in. I never got tired of it, there’s always something to do. I found it on Indeed, took a swing at it, got the job, interviewed by Paul and Aisha and then Leandra I guess had the last say. Right when I drove off they gave me the call and bada-bing-bada-boom, history.

R: Six years later!

H: Six years later, here we are.

R: You’re currently an Assistant Manager at our Pleasant Hill and San Ramon locations. When did you make that jump?

H: Yeah, we’ve come up almost on two years of me being Assistant Manager. I made that transition in March of 2019.

R: So, what is one of your favorite aspects of working here?

H: My favorite, well one of my favorite aspects, because there is many, is the work ethic…that goes on behind the scenes. Everyone here, it’s very team-based, so I like that. We come in and we see where we need to pick our strengths up and we can fill it up from there. I like the fact we’re very great about, if [you’re] not good at doing something, we don’t move you on… We like to [train] you to do what you do before you move on to the next thing and that’s really cool about a job because most jobs don’t do that. They kind of take the training wheels off and they kind of send you out there.

R: Sink or swim, right?

H: Exactly…Can I have a backup answer?

R: Sure.

H: The creativeness, I guess. Zachary’s has a lot of creative people, a lot of creative heads here, and if you ask someone [what they do] outside of work they do a bunch of awesome stuff, a lot of artsy stuff….they make things, they do things, it’s weird, it’s become a hub for a lot of creative people.

R: Um, this is the second time this has actually come up in an interview, which is very interesting, but I don’t think it is surprising because I feel like restaurant industries in general attract a lot of creative people…You get one creative person who then tells another creative person, “hey, I’ve found this job and this community of people…” and they tell the next person and they tell the next person and then…

H: It slowly builds up a community of…oh, ok.

R: Exactly, and it’s also personally something I love about it. Um, so I think these questions kind of blended into each other with you saying that, but what is something that keeps you engaged in the day-to-day, that keeps you motivated, wanting to grow and do better?

H: Uh, I guess that does go kind of hand-in-hand, it’s the coming in and knowing that there isn’t, how do I say this, there’s always something to do, there’s always something to learn… so what I love is that it’s very…we’re very vocal, we’re very verbally communicative. [And], I guess the crew does too! And here everyone’s in a good mood, everyone’s in a happy mood, it’s almost like an extended family. So you come in here and you want to do good for your extended family. You come in here and pick up the slack if someone needs help, you jump right in, it doesn’t feel too heavy, it feels nice to be surrounded by people working just as hard as you are.

R: I like that. So, perfect segue, what, in that regard, does employee ownership mean to you? And especially mean to you in your day-to-day?

H: It means growth. It means coming in and plugging yourself in and knowing that if you’re doing 110%, that’s going to carry over. People are going to see that and people are going to see what ESOP means to you and they’re gonna, you know, hopefully it opens up their eyes and they’re going to see that we take it seriously and put a lot into it and then they can do it themselves.

R: What is a favorite Zachary’s memory, funny or otherwise?

H: Every memory is good, every story is good, with its own little taste to it….The happy memory is the fact that I can make memories with the people here. It’s like I said, you guys are my extended family. I love that I can come here and plan to see you guys. I love you guys enough to see you outside of work, basically.

R: Ok, so outside of work, what are some of your interests, hobbies, things that make you Hans?

H: Uh, I enjoy my family time. I enjoy time with my son and my fiancé. I also do a little bit of music which helps me vent, helps me express some stuff that’s inside, so I like to do that. I also like to do physical stuff, so like sports. Anything sports-related, basketball, get a little physically drained as well [laughs].

R: Do you go by a special name when you do music?

H: Well, I go by my name, Hans, but it’s spelled a little bit differently, HVNS.

R: Right. And do you put stuff out for your music?

H: Yeah, I put a lot of stuff out for my music. Mostly the more professional-sounding things go out on Spotify. Soundcloud is another backup one that I put my music on. Anything I tend to put out I put out on major digital platforms and you’ll be able to find it.

R: What is something you love about the Bay Area?

H: It’s got its own vibe. Like you can’t really find the Bay Area friendliness, you know. It’s just a bunch of different societies living together, coexisting. So it’s kind of nice that even though it seems like we’re all separated somehow, we easily break that weird wall and get together and celebrate life…where we can put down our defensive walls and get together as a community…

R: Do you think that translates to Zachary’s and being a Bay business?

H: I want to say so. I mean, especially it being employee-owned, it’s one of those things where we want to set the tone, the experience for people who come from outside of California. Surprisingly, a lot of people come to try out Zachary’s [from outside the Bay], so it’s kind of nice that even [if] they can’t experience the whole Bay Area, we can show a little Bay Area in our Zachary’s. You know, a little love.

R: A little Bay love.

H: A little Bay love with every slice.

R: [laughs] Oh, man, that should be our new hashtag. #Baylovewitheveryslice. Do you have anything you would like to add?

H: Zachary’s is the best job I’ve ever had. I’ve only had a job for about a year because after that I get tired of it, but this is one of those jobs that everyday you come in, everyday is new, even though the agenda may be the same, everyday is different. So, it’s been six years and I’m still growing, I’m still learning stuff. Forgetting stuff [laughs] but still learning stuff.

R: I do feel, you in particular, we’ve seen a lot of growth with you here, given when you were hired, you had a child while you were working here, you got engaged when you were working here, are now expecting your second child while working here…

H: Life progressed outside of me being at Zachary’s. So it’s one of those things, it’s nice to grow with the company. Like, you know, it’s nice to see that my peers are acknowledging my growth. It’s nice to know that. Because, looking back, I don’t think I’ve changed, but some people told me I used to not be the best [laughs]. True story! So it’s nice to know that I grow with you guys and you’re a big part of my family and my family loves you guys and my son and fiancé feel like they’re a part of the family and you guys are very inclusive and I love the fact this job does that.

R: That makes me feel good, too. Thank you for chatting with me Hans!

H: Of course! Now, back to work! [both laugh]