DUBLIN, Ohio, April 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wendy's Company announced today that Renee O'Neal has been recognized as Top General Manager (GM) in its global restaurant system for 2017. Renee is one of 200 outstanding GMs who were recognized at the Wendy's Restaurant Support Center last week for their leadership, performance, dedication, and continuing service to the Wendy's brand. These GMs represent the top 3% of the Wendy's system.
"Part of what makes Wendy's a great place to work is our rich heritage and family culture," said Bob Wright, EVP, Chief Operations Officer and International. "Wendy's General Managers set the tone for operational excellence, inspire and develop others, and create an environment that Delights Every Customer. These leaders live our brand purpose of creating joy and opportunity through food, family and community by cultivating a positive restaurant environment."
The Wendy's system is 95% franchise-owned and operated, and GMs from the entire Wendy's global network of more than 6,600 restaurants were evaluated against set criteria, such as customer satisfaction scores and customer count growth. A total of 530 GMs met the initial criteria and the Top 200 were selected by a committee comprised of franchisee and company leadership. The Top 200 represent 175 GMs from the United States, 15 GMs from Canada, and 10 GMs from other international restaurant locations.
The average tenure of the Wendy's Top 200 GMs is 15 years, and more than 50 have been with the brand for 20 years. With GMs originally from 29 different countries – from the Bahamas to Venezuela – making up the Top 200, these individuals are a testament to the opportunities available at Wendy's and in the restaurant industry, where people can gain important skills and advance through their own hard work, initiative, and abilities.
From this group, 10 individuals were selected as the "best of the best" and received special honors.
Meet Wendy's Top 10 GMs:
Renee O'Neal with Schmidt Family Restaurant Group, Grayson, KY (Top General Manager): Renee has been a member of the Wendy's family for 10 years. She manages a Wendy's that is open 24-hours a day, and received feedback from her inspector that her restaurant is the cleanest 24-hour restaurant he has ever seen. Working at Wendy's has made Renee more confident, and this confidence has allowed her to focus not only on delighting every Wendy's customer, but also delighting every one of her employees. Renee implemented an employee mentorship program at her restaurant, and she encourages her team members to be advocates for each other. Renee says, "Advice that I give my team is to remember that no matter what is going on at home or outside work, when they walk through those doors, the Wendy's family has their back."
Mary Washington with Brian Kelemen and Associates, Lincoln Park, MI: Mary's career at Wendy's began five years ago as a crew member. She was promoted to shift manager, co-manager, General Manager, and is now a Training Store General Manager. Mary treats her restaurant like it's her home and thinks of her team as family. Detailed in her hiring selection, Mary ensures that every new team member will fit into her restaurant's family, but also looks for individuals with a desire to develop and grow with the Brand. Mary's customers light up as they walk in the door, so it's no surprise that her restaurant had the highest sales increase and top operational score in the Wendy's system in 2017.
Agustin Sanchez with MUY Brands, LLC, Garland, TX: Agustin has been part of the Wendy's family for 22 years. He believes that creating an inclusive, fun environment for his team is important, so he celebrates every team member's birthday – complete with cake and candles. Agustin encourages a customer first culture and firmly believes in delighting every customer. Under Agustin's leadership, sales at his restaurant increased by 8.5% in 2017.
Brandi Adams with Carlisle Corporation, Philadelphia, MS: With three years of Wendy's experience under her belt, Brandi sets the tone for great hospitality with her friendly demeanor. Her dining room has been described as "electric", with restaurant team members and customers enjoying each other's company. Brandi truly believes that everyone should love their job and that work should be fun, and she treats every employee like they are her family. Brandi is passionate about training and development, and because of her leadership skills, several tenured employees at her restaurant are on a path towards management.
Robin Eineke with WenZak, Elgin, IL: Having been part of the Wendy's family for 16 years, Robin understands the importance of putting training and development at the top of her management plan. She has already successfully developed six team members into management roles this year. When Robin was asked to help improve a Wendy's restaurant that was underperforming, she did so with enthusiasm and dedication. Robin hired a new General Manager for the restaurant, Sara Stickles, and one of her greatest achievements is mentoring and developing Sara into a Top 200 General Manager. Strong leadership skills and an attention to detail have helped Robin increase her restaurant sales consistently for the past five years.
Joseph Flynn with Quality Served Fast, Dickson City, PA: Joe has been part of the Wendy's family for 20 years and he was also a member of Wendy's Top 200 GM Class of 2016. Dedicated to continuous growth, Joe implemented learnings from Wendy's 2016 Top GM Conference to enhance new hire orientation across his franchise organization, which helped improve customer satisfaction and overall operations. True to his military roots, Joe operates his restaurant with military-like precision. His restaurant has achieved 10 straight years of sales increases, and his restaurant is so clean that it won the franchise organization's "White Glove" contest so many years in a row that the contest was cancelled.
Cassie Aguilar with Pilot Corporation, Lost Hills, CA: A member of the Wendy's family for four years, Cassie strikes a great balance of accountability and motivation with her team by setting clear expectations. She is engaged with the local community and focuses on building a relationship and connection with each member of her team. When Cassie's peers learned she was a Top GM candidate, her franchise operator received more than 30 letters of support from team members endorsing her intensity, integrity, and joy for her position. A true team player, Cassie says she is most proud when she sees her team members succeed and achieve their personal and career goals.
Gaylene Weavers with D.P. Murphy, Inc., Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: Throughout her 30 years at Wendy's, Gaylene has made it her number one priority to put her customers first. She does this by staying consistent in her restaurant management approach, which includes creating an operating plan for each day, coaching her teams to do their best, and starting every day with a smile. If you visit her restaurant, Gaylene can often be found in the dining room because she is dedicated to creating an inviting atmosphere and enjoys interacting with her customers. For Gaylene, Wendy's is family, which made it even more special that her daughter, Cassie Weavers, was also recognized as a Top 200 GM.
Phuong Sloan with North Florida Management, Jacksonville, FL: In 2006, Phuong immigrated to the United States from Vietnam. She began working at Wendy's 11 years ago as a register operator, but admitted that the culture shock she experienced provided some unique challenges. Phuong's General Manager realized her potential, but knew she would need a different environment in which to thrive. Phuong left the register and made a transition to sandwich maker, where she excelled, and quickly transitioned to different roles as the restaurant's opening manager, shift manager, restaurant manager and then General Manager. Phuong focuses on team member training and treating her employees fairly. She is extremely grateful that her experience at Wendy's has given her an opportunity to grow and succeed.
Rachid Oubaha with Hamra Enterprises, Inc., Salem, MA: Rachid has been a part of the Wendy's family for 18 years. He has a passion for customer service, likes to learn the names of his customers, and goes out of his way to collect their constructive feedback. Rachid has created a culture of respect in his restaurant and encourages everyone to work together to achieve high results. In 2017, Rachid promoted five team members to leadership positions, and his restaurant sales increased 10.6%.
About The Wendy's Company The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) is the world's third-largest quick-service hamburger company. The Wendy's® system includes approximately 6,600 franchise and Company-operated restaurants in the United States and 30 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. For more information, visit www.wendys.com.