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Texas Roadhouse, United States

Working in technology isn’t easy, especially for those of us who have lived through the peak of the 1999 bubble and subsequent crash. But that was nothing compared to a nightshift at Texas Roadhouse, the national steakhouse chain. When I joined NoWait in 2013 as CEO, the founders suggested I work a couple of hosting shifts seating guests at one of our restaurant-chain partners, to witness first-hand the friction our company was working to solve. It was, undoubtedly, the scariest and most sobering professional experience of my life. Most wouldn’t realize the degree of dexterity required to juggle baskets of bread with pots of coffee, while grasping for menus and rolled up cutlery, and remembering to keep smiling.