30 Under 30: Shane Dagan
High school: Hugh Boyd
How many 29-year-olds can say they’re still on their first job?
Shane Dagan is among them, and he couldn’t be happier.
From bus boy to owner at Steveston Seafood House, Dagan credits his parents and good timing as a big part of his successful story.
Dagan started clearing tables at the Moncton restaurant when he was 15, and then went on to become a waiter and then a bartender.
He then went for six months to Australia, where he got a job as a waiter at a high end restaurant.
And it was there where he realized the restaurant industry, its positive people and energy, were for him.
So when the previous owner decided to sell the place, Dagan, then 24, went to the bank for a six-figure loan.
Fortunately his father, an accountant, and mother, who works at CIBC, both scrutinized his plan to ensure it was viable.
“Every day is a new day, a new character coming in,” Dagan said. “I work 60 hours a week, but I don’t work a day, if you know what I mean.”
Inspiration? “I guess it would have to be my parents. They raised three boys (and we made sure there were plenty of challenges), work full time, are always helping us out with the restaurant and the baby and they still seem to have a ton of free social and travel time.”
Most proud of? “I’m most proud of my new six-month-old baby, Anthony. Having a child definitely changes your perception of everything in life. He’s made the responsibility of the restaurant seem like a walk in the park and it only takes him one smile to make any challenges from the day disappear.”
Advice for others? “There are always a million reasons why something won’t work. Instead focus your efforts on the reasons why it will work and things will come together. The restaurant has also taught me that some of the best opportunities have arrived at what first seemed like a negative experience. If you can find a way to change every negative experience into a positive one, success is inevitable."