Roomie Roundup: Tim McDermott’s 7 Years at SevenRooms
At SevenRooms, milestones are magical to us. When a Roomie reaches their 7th anniversary, we celebrate their accomplishments with the 7 Wonders of the World experience. What is the 7 Wonders of the World perk? A 7-day, 6-night vacation to anywhere in the world, sponsored by SevenRooms.
Tim McDermott, Director of Product, recently hit his 7 Year milestone and spoke to us about his journey at SevenRooms, the lessons he’s learned, and where his 7 Wonders travels are taking him.
Justin Stevens(JS): Tim, we’re really excited to celebrate your anniversary at SevenRooms. Let’s start off by hearing from you about how you began your story here.
Tim McDermott (TM): I knew Allie (7R’s Chief Product Officer & Co-Founder) and had worked with her before in the finance world. One day she came to me and said, “Hey, we’re hiring 3 people, we just raised some capital, and I think you’d be good for our open operations position.” I then met with Joel (CEO & Co-Founder)—we had a couple of coffee sessions—and then I met the greater team. Eventually, I started in September 2014 with two other people, rounding out the company to 9 employees. At the time we were in one small room on 24th Street. It’s crazy that there are now over 200 Roomies in the company!
JS: Looking back, what’s your journey been like at SevenRooms?
TM: When I started, I was on the business side of the company and helped manage our concierge platform. Concierges would book reservations at a small number of restaurants, which held tables for us. We didn’t have a guest experience and retention platform like we have today. When we began building our dining platform, I started working with restaurants directly, including spending most nights at their host stands.
It was a natural transition from being in a “jack of all trades” operational role to working on the product. I had to know the new system really well because we were acquiring new customers, and a big part of that was understanding their needs. Since we were a growing team, there was room to give building our product a try. And the rest was history.
JS: It’s really interesting to see how your responsibilities changed as SevenRooms grew. How else has the company changed?
TM: In the beginning, everyone wore different hats. For instance, I initially managed our accounting! We then started growing the team–instead of one person managing customer support 24/7, for example, we were able to hire multiple support specialists to cover different shifts.
Our team’s growth has been incredible to witness firsthand. When we grew from 9 people to 30, we could still fit in one office. Then when we hit 70 people, things started to become surreal – deskspace was quite limited! Now we’re over 200 strong with hubs in New York, San Diego, London, Australia, Hong Kong, and beyond. I am incredibly proud of how far we’ve come.
JS: In today’s world, it’s common for many people to stay at a company for 1 to 2 years. But that’s not the case for you. What’s kept you at SevenRooms for this long?
TM: Many folks, including candidates, ask me this question all the time and my answer remains the same. Our mission has never changed, and it continues to resonate with me—we work to support restaurants, always.
I love that I can still go out to dinner with friends and share with them what I’m doing all day to make our dining experiences better. Working in the hospitality industry is a dream, especially as someone who enjoys going out to eat and traveling. I also get to work with an incredible group of people and continue to meet new talented folks as our team scales.
JS: Speaking of our team, who at SevenRooms has made a big impact on you and your career over the years?
TM: So many people have impacted my career for the better, it’s hard to name just a few! Allie taught me the ropes on Product since she was our original Product Manager. Jeremy (Principal Software Engineer) is our longest-tenured engineer and one of the most brilliant people to work with. I’ve worked with our Director of Enterprise Success, Deetz (Alexa) for a long time. We constantly worked together on solving our enterprise clients’ needs. Matt (Director, Customer Support) has been a huge help to me as well. Michael (Director, Product) was the next Product Manager hired after me; he’s done so much for our platform. These are just a few of the many folks who have supported me over the years at SevenRooms.
JS: I’m sure there are dozens of other Roomies you could talk about as well! Looking back at your career, what is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
TM: One of my biggest learnings has been that you don’t have to do what you studied in school. I was in my 30s when I came here and worked in a totally different industry. It’s never too late to try something new!
JS: Definitely. Shifting gears, I’d love to hear more about your 7 Wonders of the World experience. Where are you going and why?
TM: I’m going to Sardinia. It’s an island off the west coast of Italy in the middle of the Mediterranean. We’re going to a beach location that my wife and I have always wanted to visit together. She’s been there a few times; she’s from Italy and traveled there as a kid, but hasn’t been there in many years. Our daughter is going to be turning 1 and we’re going for her birthday. We’re also bringing my in-laws. Our daughter will play with Grandma and Grandpa on the trip, and they will be able to build more memories with her. Because it’s my 7-year anniversary, I also have a month of 7R&R (mandatory paid time off). I’m going to be in Italy for all of July!
JS: I can’t wait to see photos from your trip. Is there anything else you want to share?
TM: I’m really thankful that we get to take a month off and have the chance to do these trips. It’s a special experience and I’m excited for other people to take their time off, too. I’m looking forward to decompressing and then coming back in August, to hit the ground running and continue building our product.
Interested in a career at SevenRooms? Learn more about our open roles.