Tex-Mex Food in Rome: Alumnus Alberto Romano
Born in Rovigo, near Venice, but raised in Rome, alumnus Alberto Romano graduated from John Cabot University in 2014, with a major in Business Administration and a minor in Entrepreneurship. In 2018 he founded Rey Nacho, a fast-casual restaurant concept serving Tex-Mex food.
What made you decide to study at JCU?
After finishing high school in Rome in 2009, I moved to Texas, where my grandfather and aunt live. I initially just wanted to improve my English, but I ended up looking for universities. At that point, I really liked living in the US, but I wasn’t sure that moving there to get my degree was the right choice for me. So, I started looking for American universities closer to home, and I finally found JCU.
What motivated you to pursue a career in the restaurant business?
In Texas, my grandfather used to own two restaurants and that made me fall in love with the industry and Tex-Mex food. I’m pleased to say that at JCU, I was the very first Entrepreneurship minor; I put together these two passions and ended up opening my own restaurant business.
What advice would you give to students considering JCU?
In addition to providing excellent academics, JCU helps students enter the job market while studying and after graduation. I would definitely advise students to take advantage of the Career Services Office as early as possible since it provides a wealth of internship and job opportunities. I would also encourage students to participate in extracurricular activities and get involved in JCU student life.
How did John Cabot University prepare you for your career?
As I said before, the classes that I took in entrepreneurship and marketing helped me to develop essential skills that I now use to run the business. In addition, I was president of the Business Club, an experience that helped me improve my communication and leadership skills.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your professional career?
In the beginning, enthusiasm coupled with lack of experience led me to spend most of my budget on decorating the restaurant, and I ended up needing more money for promotion. To overcome this, I took the risk of opening a satellite store (much smaller compared to the first restaurant) to divide the costs and take advantage of economy of scale.
Do you have any advice for graduating students?
I have a single piece of advice: no matter what, trust yourself and follow your goals!