Nick Reader loves his job. Food and football have always been at the top of his list of favorite things, but he never imagined he’d get to do both in his career.
Reader was CFO of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2003 to 2008. And though he loved his job, he wanted to do something entrepreneurial. So he was instantly interested when Bloomin’ Brands’ Bob Basham asked him to start his private investment firm MVP Holdings, to open a new restaurant concept called PDQ. Reader went home to his wife and said, “Guess what? You get to go back to work and we’re going to make considerably less.”
Reader has helped grow the brand one restaurant at a time, with the ultimate goal of making it a national brand. In three years, they’ve grown from one restaurant to 31.
He aims to build restaurants in six or seven states in the next year, and grow to 50 total restaurants.
The most rewarding part about his job is watching younger employees grow with the business, he says. Reader has two employees who started with the minimum hourly wage and four years later now run a store.
Passion for what you do is key to success, Reader says. “If you have to set your alarm to get up in the morning, then you should find something else to do.”
— Traci McMillan Beach
City of residence: Tampa
Years on the Gulf Coast: 35
Marital status/children: Married 16 year three boys Tre 11, Troy 10, Ty 2
Alma mater: University of Florida
Best place to network: PDQ
Coolest business experience: Every time we open a new PDQ and we get to see 65 new jobs for our incredible team.
The most important business lesson I’ve learned: To always hire people smarter than I am
One website that makes your job easier: Urban Spoon and Yelp
One community group you’re most involved with: Boys and Girls Club and Lifelink
Favorite off-hours activity: Watching my boys play baseball and traveling with my wife
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: My grandfather, who passed away 15 years ago, and Dominic Ciao
Best award you ever received: Business Observer 40 under 40 (I barely made it since I turn 40 in January)
Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: Left my job as the CFO of the Buccaneers
What’s at the top of your bucket list: To help be part of a company that creates life changing opportunities for our team.
What new skill would you like to learn: To be more patient
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Hugh Jackman. My sons would think I was cool if I was played by the real life Wolverine
If I had a magic wand I’d: I would make sure every teacher, soldier and police officer knew how much we appreciate what they do and sacrifice for us.