Meet the Friendly Faces Behind Falls Church

We recently spent time with our Falls Church, VA team where we celebrated the promotions of Guarav and Christina to Project Coach and RGM, respectively. What we learned are all the reasons these special people stick around — and that’s good, because they’re the glue that keeps this place together!

Here are some highlights about the love of peers, working for a company that cares, being supported by chosen family.


Summerwood bought the Falls Church location in 2019 from Taco Bell Corporate. Guarav says that when he started, there were about 22 team members at the restaurant and now they have more than doubled to 49!

Opportunity Meets Support

Eric, Region Coach, is from French-speaking Togo, West Africa. He came to America “looking for a better life.” Employed by Taco Bell Corporate at the time, he was given a jumpstart with support from Taco Bell to take English classes and eventually, college courses (hey, Summerwood offers educational benefits like tuition reimbursement, scholarships and a GED program!).

Shift Lead Chelsea has been supported by the company, too, in her personal life. She says Summerwood helped her financially through pregnancy and when she was sick (check out our benefits).

Today, these are team members who enjoy time with their chosen family. Eric says he looks for ways to make an impact, too.

“I wake up every day knowing that I can make [a] change.” -Eric, Region Coach

Manju, recently promoted to Area Coach, moved here from Nepal and got his first job at Taco Bell upon recommendation from a friend.

Manju was nervous at first, and then opportunity after opportunity came a knockin’ at his door. He has no regrets about taking advantage of every one of them! 

But each new position comes with greater responsibilities, he says, so it’s not without challenges. “Facing those challenges one by one has just made me better each and every day,” he says.

“I think the sky’s the limit for anybody that works here.” -Kofi, Region Coach

Region Coach JJ seconds that. “I’ve been put in positions that challenge me, that stretch me,” he says. “Uncomfortable at times, but they were the most important times of my career.”

“Summerwood gave me a lot of opportunities and in such a short period of time,” Manju continues. “I felt that. They care for you, they care for the people … they give you the training along with it.”

Culture Club

Summerwood strives to provide a comfortable, positive work environment. That, of course, starts with a supportive base — Kofi says “what makes us great is that everybody helps each other” — and its family culture.

“When you walk into a store, when you feel you’re welcome … you know the people, the people know you,” Manju says. “It’s like a home away from home.”

“It’s just like a place that I can be myself.” -Ashley, Team Member

This warm feeling is felt by guests and delivery drivers, too, many of whom come in every day and are known by name.

“Once you come in, everybody welcomes you,” says Shift Leader Glenda.

New Falls Church RGM Christina credits her predecessor Guarav for fostering this environment and culture. In turn, Guarav credits his mentor Kofi, a seasoned Region Coach, for instilling positivity in him — a positive energy that permeates throughout the restaurant even today. Christina says she’s just trying to keep Guarav’s momentum going.

According to Guarav, good restaurant culture leads to fewer complaints; better, faster service; and lower dissatisfaction rates. And it attracts more team members. Apply today!

Work Hard, Have Fun

Summerwood also values fun. Kofi says Summerwood motivates you to work hard “with excellence, integrity” and then sprinkles in the fun factor with perks like reward trips. Kofi and his wife went on a cruise to the Bahamas, thanks to Summerwood; JJ and his family enjoyed a week at Summerwood’s Shore House condo (plus spending money) in New Jersey (scroll here for a virtual glimpse).

“That’s one of the big things that I love about our company is that we are able to show appreciation and give back to the team,” JJ says of incentives that, according to him, aren’t just for Area Coaches and Above Store Leaders (ARLs), but also general managers.

Kofi gushes about another thoughtful perk: exercise boot camp. To help combat stress, Summerwood partners with a fitness provider to offer complimentary personal trainer-led online sessions throughout the week for team members.

 “Summerwood was the best thing that ever happened to me.” -Kofi, Region Coach

Kofi admits that he was considering leaving Taco Bell at one point but then when Summerwood took over Falls Church, he decided to give us a chance. He’s glad he did! “I work for a company that I think should be one of the best companies to work for,” he says of Summerwood. “They find ways to take care of us.”

And we’ll take care of you, too! Apply today!