Franchisee Jason Dibler and his Oklahoma City, OK, restaurant were honored as the “best of the best” with the #1 Operational Excellence Restaurant-of-the-Year award during the Celebration of Operational Excellence ceremony on Monday, October 22 at the Golden Corral Convention and Trade Show in San Francisco.
Jason has continuously been an integral part of the Golden Corral system for the past 13 years. He began his Golden Corral career as an hourly Assistant Manager and worked his way up to Hospitality Manager, Kitchen Manager, and later General Manager. In December 2014, he became a franchisee through our Operating Partner Program.
Year to date, Oklahoma City’s comp sales are up 7.53%, which is on top of a 7.94% increase last year. Jason truly embraces Elevate the Experience (ETE) for his Guests. He does so by creating a connection between his internal and external Guests and truly treats them as Guests in his own home. He was part of our original rollout of ETE, and provided great feedback that shaped how it was implemented within the entire system.
Looking for opportunities in the community to get involved and grow sales, Jason jumped headfirst into going after catering sales. In 2017, he captured $148,000 in catering sales, and is on track to exceed that this year.
“Jason is a hands-on operator who is a strong believer in establishing great systems and routines that deliver consistent results for his Guests,” says Darryl Webb, Sr. Vice President of Operations.
Jason purchased software to load all of his systems, checklists, forms, and preventative maintenance programs into one place to make it easier for his managers to execute consistently on a daily basis.
He learned very quickly that the key to running a great restaurant is to hire and train great people. He provides his team with ongoing opportunities to develop and grow. He is sure to celebrate their success along the way as well. He has great success with retaining his employees, including his current management team who have been together since he franchised in 2014.
He begins with hiring the right people, ensuring that they are trained correctly 100% of the time, and holds them accountable by communicating expectations daily. He catches them doing it right and praises them for it. Every employee receives a Stay Interview after 30 days. He rewards his staff with a yearly picnic, Employee-of-the-Month awards, Most Improved award and the Joker award. He believes that without structure and clear expectations, good employees will not stay. He leads by example and coaches his entire team to walk into the restaurant each day as Guest – to see what the Guest sees. He teaches them to take the blinders off and correct any noted opportunities before the Guest sees them.
“Jason is truly one of the most genuinely nice people that I have had the pleasure to meet,” says Darryl. “He is very humble and thankful for the opportunities provided to him and his family. In accordance with our beliefs, he gives thanks to God for his blessings. He continues to build upon the success of his business as he recently franchised a second Golden Corral restaurant in Shawnee, OK.”
The 2nd place Operational Excellence Restaurant-of-the-Year award was presented to Franchisee Mike Slentz for his Tifton, GA, restaurant. Franchisee Mark Shaw was honored in 3rd place for his Fort Walton Beach, FL, restaurant. The 4th place Operational Excellence Restaurant-of-the-Year award was presented to Franchisee Ahmed El-Hawary for his Glendale, AZ, restaurant operated by General Manager Kristi Hutchings. Fifth place was presented to Franchisees Anthony Verderame and Marc Verderame for their Boynton Beach, FL, restaurant operated by General Manager Mike Kamali.
During the awards ceremony, Stephen Karos was named the District Manager-of-the-Year for the second consecutive year. Michelle Foster, Jane Streff, and Ben Falsafi were named the Franchisee Business Consultants-of-the-Year for their respective divisions.
In addition to these awards recognition, franchisees and operators were honored for Community Involvement, Caring Culture, Voice of Guest, Food Safety and Sanitation, White Glove, Top Sales Volume and Growth, Top Meal Count Growth, and Top ROC awards.