“I am extremely honored to have been chosen as the recipient of this award, particularly from the pool of such accomplished industry leaders and Silver Plate winners,” says Sally Smith, president and CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings. “I want to extend a special thank you to the IFMA, and my sincere thanks and congratulations to the entire Buffalo Wild Wings team who is responsible for the success and phenomenal growth of our company.”
Smith joined Buffalo Wild Wings as chief financial officer in 1994 and was appointed CEO in 1996. At that time, the company had less than 75 restaurants and through her leadership has grown it to nearly 600 locations across 40 states. During that time, Smith also developed the company’s infrastructure, creating comprehensive Finance, Marketing, and Human Resources departments, and aligned the franchise system so that all Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants represented a consistent brand focused on creating a unique guest experience. Her commitment to Buffalo Wild Wing’s success continues to provide shareholder value, and for the first time last year the company achieved over $1 billion in sales.
Smith has been an active board member of the National Restaurant Association since 1996, and currently serves as Treasurer.
Smith was first awarded industry honors in the Chain Full-Service category of the IFMA 2009 Silver Plate Awards before taking home the Gold Plate. She accepted the Gold Plate Award Monday night at the annual IFMA Chicago banquet.