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Pennsylvania Restaurant &  Lodging Association | Staffing, Certifications and more

Cynthia Smith

In-House Counsel, Hoss’s Steak & Sea House/Marzoni’s Brick Oven & Brewing

Briefly describe your job and responsibilities.

Ensure compliance with various laws/regulations applicable to our business. Secure & maintain required licenses & regulatory approvals.
Track legislative changes that impact our business; communicate with legislators accordingly. Maintain corporate records for various companies affiliated with our business. Intellectual property management. Provide legal guidance/training as needed.


What does a “typical” day at work look like for you?

I generally work in my office at our corporate headquarters 8:30-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A typical day might include working on regulatory compliance tasks such as a license-related renewal or application, or a beverage registration; reviewing or preparing business records as issues arise or changes occur; consulting with Human Resources or
Customer Service personnel on an employee, customer or vendor issue; and responding to miscellaneous questions or requests from other corporate staff or restaurant managers.


What was your first job?

I became a hostess and salad bar attendant at Hoss’s in Altoona, PA as a junior in high school.


When did you know this industry was right for you?

My family founded our company in 1985, and it quickly grew into a multi-unit chain. I worked in various areas of our restaurants in high school and through college. The HOSSpitality mission is in my blood. When I completed college and decided to go to law school, I knew I could bring those skills into our business and hopefully contribute to our ongoing success.


Briefly describe your career path and how you got to where you are today.

I started my restaurant career as a teenager in high school, working as a hostess and salad bar attendant at Hoss’s in Altoona, PA. I continued working as a server at various other Hoss’s locations while attending college. From there I attended law school, graduating in 1995, and began working in-house for my family’s restaurant company, Hoss’s Steak & Sea House. I began working in the Human Resources department for several years, then began to get involved in other areas of the business, with my current focus being regulatory compliance and corporate records management.


What is your favorite part of your job?

I love working with a company that promotes family values, truly cares about people, and remains committed to doing the right thing in every situation. (And access to lots of delicious food, of course!)


What is the most challenging part of your job?

Uncertainty! I’m a person who likes to plan ahead and analyze every situation carefully. Sometimes this just isn’t an option. I’ve had to learn to expect the unexpected and work through some things on the spot. This is a work in progress!


What advice would you give to students interested in your profession?

Spend some time working in a restaurant that’s part of a chain, and learn as much about the operations and the regulatory side of the business as you can.


What achievement are you most proud of?

Raising two wonderful kids with my husband, Tom.


What do you like to do outside of work?

Spend time with family and friends, travel, and read Ted Dekker novels.


What is your favorite food to make or eat?

Dessert – the sweeter the better!

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

I’ve never had a bucket list, but I’ve always wanted to go on a mission trip overseas with my family.