‘Go with your gut:’ Local restaurant owner shares how he rose through the ranks from bartender to franchisee

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 4:48 PM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - “Go with your gut.” That is the advice a local Margaritas Mexican Restaurant franchise owner is giving to those in the industry, and beyond.

“This is one of the oldest Margarita’s in the system. They opened in 1985, so it’s got a lot of history to it,” said Dave Reesman, a Margaritas Mexican Restaurant employee who worked his way up the ranks to become a franchise owner.

Reesman has held about every position there from Kitchen Manager to Assistant General Manager to General Manager.

His days at the restaurant started as a bartender when he was 30 years old.

He was working as a restaurant manager in Milwaukee before his move to Maine and felt that Margarita’s in the college town of Orono would be a good fit.

“Within a few months there was a management position open, and I went to training through Margarita’s cooperate training program,” he said.

In 2019, while serving as General Manager, Reesman was approached by the restaurant chain to take over the Orono location, so he did. In 2020, he opened his second location in Ellsworth.

“It’s a lot of interviews, a lot of meetings, and lot of phone calls and paying bills. Day-to-day, just making sure everything is operating efficiently,” he explained.

When he’s not accomplishing those tasks - you can still find him in the kitchen or behind the bar - when needed.

When he’s not at Margaritas, he’s at his cafe - The Grind House in downtown Bangor.

At 42, Reesman has a lot on his plate, but he’s enjoying every opportunity.

For anyone working in the restaurant industry and looking to move up, he offers this advice.

“Keep striving. If you see an opportunity, reach for it. Some things may be presented to you but sometimes you have got to stick your foot in the door and say that you want it to. Get out there and get after it,” he advised. “I’m still early on in my restaurant ownership career so, I’m curious to see where we’re going to go in the future.”

Reesman says both locations, Orono and Ellsworth, need staff - especially in the kitchen.

Click here to learn more about open positions.

Wanna join in on the fun and be part of the Orono fam?? We’re hiring line cooks and dishwashers!! 🎉🎉 Apply in store or online 😊

Posted by Margaritas Orono on Friday, September 2, 2022