This week, Bojangles’ named the winners of its 17th Master Biscuit Maker Challenge, an annual system-wide competition in which thousands of Bojangles’ teammates from more than 550 company-owned and franchised locations across the Southeast compete to be named the top biscuit-maker, Bojangles’ Master Biscuit Maker. Steven Mackey from Charlotte, North Carolina, was named Master Biscuit Maker from Bojangles’ company-owned locations and Carlos Peraza from Anderson, South Carolina, took the 2013 title for Bojangles’ franchised restaurants.

The Master Biscuit Maker Challenge began back in August when all Bojangles’ biscuit-makers completed annual training to be certified or re-certified as Bojangles’ biscuit-makers. Master Biscuit Maker contenders faced off against fellow team members at their home restaurants, then against the best biscuit-makers in their areas and larger regions.

Eight finalists from Bojangles’ company-owned locations and seven finalists from franchised locations advanced to the final challenge in Bojangles’ test kitchen located at the company’s Support Center in Charlotte this week. Bojangles’ staff members and supporters looked on as each finalist made biscuits from scratch following a 12-step recipe. After the competition and awards ceremonies, 2013 Master Biscuit Makers Mackey and Peraza each went home with a $2,500 cash prize, a Master Biscuit Maker champion trophy, and bragging rights. All finalists were awarded a $500 cash prize and finalist trophy.

“At Bojangles’, it is the strong focus on consistent quality that keeps our customers coming back, and it’s our team members in the restaurants who make it happen from 4:30 in the morning when they fire up the ovens to late at night when our fans are still craving freshly-made Bojangles’ biscuits,” says Kenny Avery, Bojangles’ senior vice president of company operations.

It’s no surprise that Bojangles’ takes biscuit making seriously. Since 1977, Bojangles’ buttermilk biscuits have been the basis for the breakfast that keeps fans coming back all day with more than 2.7 billion biscuits served to date. Throughout the Master Biscuit Maker Challenge, biscuits were judged by a panel of Bojangles’ staff members based on the precision with which the recipe is followed, size and shape of the biscuits, and the time it takes to complete this process without sacrificing quality.

2013 Master Biscuit Steven Mackey is a team member from Bojangles’ company-owned restaurant located at 300 West Blvd. in Charlotte. A culinary student at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Charlotte, Mackey says he enjoys the experience in Bojangles’ kitchen. Mackey’s hard work was also recently recognized with a promotion to manager at Bojangles’ Midtown location of Charlotte. 

2013 Master Biscuit Maker Carlos Peraza is a team member at Bojangles’ 2102 N. Main St. location in Anderson, operated by franchise group E.O. Enterprises. Peraza has been with Bojangles’ since November of 2008. He was also the winner of Bojangles’ inaugural Master Biscuit Maker Franchise Challenge in 2009.

“Our franchise partners fully embrace Bojangles’ high standards for quality and strict adherence to Bojangles’ biscuit recipe,” says Tony Hopson, Bojangles’ senior vice president of franchise operations. “Bojangles’ is growing so rapidly, the competition gets tougher every year. We’re already looking forward expanding the Master Biscuit Maker Challenge to new restaurants and welcoming new talent to participate in 2014.”

Employee Management, News, Bojangles