A Conversation with Nancy Geden

Food, Tastemakers

NancyGeden FNL

Opening one restaurant is no small feat. Managing the planning and execution of 10 restaurant openings? Let’s just say, I would need a big drink if I were Nancy Geden, the 26 year-old director of operations for Meatheads, a simple concept that focuses on serving high quality burgers and chicken, fresh cut fries and beverages in a stylish and casual atmosphere.


Geden began her restaurant industry career midway through college, and has steadily moved up in the company since she graduated Cum Laude from Loyola University Chicago. “When you love your job, it does not feel like work,” Nancy says.

Read on to learn more about Nancy’s story, in her own words.

What was your first job out of college?

Meatheads is my first job out of college.  After starting with Meatheads as a cashier while in college, I stayed with the company and have been able to learn and grow into a leadership position. Almost 4 years removed from school and 6 years with the company, working here has been an invaluable experience. It has allowed me to gain high level business knowledge in a short amount of time.

How do you start each day? Describe your morning routine.

I start each day by giving my cats some love, drinking a cup of coffee, and checking e-mails. The rest of my days are spent  visiting our 17 restaurants and providing operational support.


What is your favorite meal to eat for lunch?

My favorite thing to eat for lunch is a Meatheads fresh Spinach Salad with grilled chicken.

It’s 5:00 p.m. on a Friday. What’s in your glass?

Usually coffee…or something with caffeine in it.

What does your typical Friday night look like?

I typically spend my Friday nights working the dinner shift in one of our restaurants and then grabbing food.

If you could hop on a plane and go anywhere right now, where would you go and why?

If I could hop on a plane and go anywhere, I would go to Barcelona, Spain. I’ve been there once and love the Spanish culture and history. The fresh seafood from the Mediterranean doesn’t hurt either.

What is your favorite restaurant in Chicago and why?

My favorite restaurant in Chicago is Frasca because I love fresh pasta and pizza.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Treat everyone you meet with kindness and compassion with no thought of reward.


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