16-Year-Old Starts Out as a Dishwasher – Two Years Later, the Teenager Buys the Restaurant Herself
Samantha Frye used her hard-earned college savings to make her entrepreneurial dreams come true.
18-year-old Samantha Frye didn’t plan on becoming a restaurant owner. Like most teenagers her age, she figured she’d go to college, get a degree, and start her career.
But sometimes the best things in life happen with absolutely no plan at all.
From Dishwasher to Owner: How an 18-Year-Old Became an Unlikely Business Owner
Frye started working as a dishwasher at Rosalie’s Restaurant in Strasburg, Ohio when she was 16 years old. By the time she was 17, she had risen up the culinary ranks to kitchen prep and then line cook.
After high school graduation, Frye planned on attending Ohio State University and pursuing a degree in environmental engineering. And she did, for one semester. But 6 months ago, everything changed.
During one of her winter-break shifts, then-owners, Bob and Stephanie Roth, shared that they planned to sell the restaurant. They bought the diner in 2016 from the original owners, Terry and Rosalie Reed, who had it for 30 years.
Now, struggling with her own health and with aging parents to look after, the Roths knew it was time to move on.
For Frye, it was the opportunity she didn’t even know she was looking for.
“I was thinking, ‘Whoa, maybe this was something I wanted to do,’ because I had savings — because I was saving up for college,” Frye told ABC affiliate News 5. “So, I had quite a bit of money set aside, and I was like, I could possibly do this.”
Her ‘could’ quickly turned into a ‘would.’ Before she had a chance to talk herself out of it, Frye leapt in with both feet, straight out of the frying pan and into the fire.
In April, the teenager forked over her savings for a down payment and became the proud new owner of Rosalie’s. At the ripe old age of 18.
How One Teen Is Cooking Up Business With a Side Order of Inspiration
Frye spends seven days a week, eating, breathing, and sleeping her new business venture.
“Right now, this is so new; this is my priority,” Frye shared. “Five days of the week, I’m in here. If not in here, I’m back there doing prep. The other two days, I’m in the office doing meetings with the sales reps.”
No stranger to hard work, having held down three jobs WHILE attending high school, Frye seems well on her way to making her dream a success.
She’s even managed to convince her mom that dropping out of college and becoming a restauranteur, while barely out of high school, really was a good idea.
“I was not on board with her leaving OSU and taking on such a huge responsibility at her age,” Frye’s mother, Brandi Beitzel, wrote in a statement to USA Today. “But over time, I warmed up to it and realized that it might not have been the path I envisioned (for) her on but it’s the path she wanted to take.”
Now Beitzel couldn’t be more proud of her daughter.
“I worked in the restaurant industry for 22 years and I know there are going to (be) many obstacles and challenges ahead of her, but with her drive and ambition the sky is the limit.”
And the teen isn’t just an inspiration to her mother, she is to her employees and customers as well.
“I just really think she’s a great example of a young lady that is following her dreams and doing what she loves,” Leanna Gardner, Rosalie’s employee said.
Following Your Instincts to Find Your Dreams
Becoming a restaurant owner may not have been on Frye’s top 10 list of things she planned to do with her life (or anywhere on the list for that matter), and yet, here she is.
And she says it’s all because she followed her gut.
She hopes that if anyone from her generation learns anything from her story, it’s that college doesn’t always have to be the answer to making a decent living.
“You don’t need college to make a decent living, and I think that’s what a lot of people think nowadays,” she said.
“Follow your instinct, honestly. If it feels right, just do it.”Samantha Frye
What’s your instinct telling you to do?