Wendy's announced that Carteina Riddick has been recognized as the top General Manager in its global restaurant system for 2018. Carteina leads the team at the Wendy's restaurant located at 4220 Salem Road in Covington, Georgia, which is owned and operated by Wendy's franchise organization Calhoun Management. She is one of 200 outstanding GMs who were recognized at the Wendy's Restaurant Support Center last week for their leadership, performance, dedication to operations excellence, and continuing service to the Wendy's brand.
"Restaurant General Managers play one of the most important roles in our system and are the face of the Wendy's brand to our customers," says Todd Penegor, president and Chief Executive Officer. "Our Top 200 General Managers demonstrate leadership, excellence and a passion to Delight Every Customer every day, across every Wendy's restaurant across the globe."
The Wendy's system is 95 percent franchise-owned and operated, and GMs from the entire Wendy's global network of more than 6,700 restaurants were evaluated against criteria such as customer satisfaction scores and customer count growth. A total of 537 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 25 different countries – from Albania to Trinidad – 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 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:
Carteina Riddick with Calhoun Management, Covington, GA (Top General Manager): Carteina has been a member of the Wendy's family for eight years and has been named a Wendy's Top GM each year since the program's inception. She staffs her restaurant with team members who are energetic, have positive attitudes, and believe in teamwork, which creates a welcoming work environment for everyone. Aside from managing her restaurant, Carteina serves as a training buddy and mentor for newly promoted GMs in the Atlanta area, and is a proud mother of two college students, with her youngest preparing to enroll in the Air Force Academy. "Wendy's is a place where the sky is the limit," Carteina said. "Treat people how you want to be treated and you, too, will be a top performer."
Rebecca Tate with Carlisle Corporation, Brookhaven, MS: A member of the Wendy's family for 29 years, Rebecca's franchisee describes her as an energetic person who has never met a stranger. Rebecca believes that her number one job responsibility is to care for her customers, but also believes that coaching, motivating, and being consistent with her team members has made her a stronger leader. A constant teacher and mentor, Rebecca has trained seven district managers and more than 50 restaurant managers in her area over the past 10 years. With a personal motto of "yes, we can!", Rebecca brings energy to every situation and never fails to inspire her restaurant team.
Tiffany Jones with J.A.C.S., Inc., Louisa, KY: Tiffany's career at Wendy's began 16 years ago and she truly believes that you will never work a day in your life if you enjoy what you do. She knows that just being nice isn't enough to turn good employees into great employees, so Tiffany treats her team like family and makes everyone feel important. Tiffany created a buddy system in her restaurant to help all new hires during the often-challenging first few weeks on the job and also executes a successful Employee of the Month program to keep everyone engaged in the restaurant's success.
Angie Davis with Better Food Systems, Inc., Shelbyville, IN: With 35 years of Wendy's experience under her belt, Angie believes that happy and well-trained teams lead to positive restaurant experiences for her customers. Angie had the opportunity to meet Wendy's founder Dave Thomas several years ago and tries to honor his legacy each day by living his core values of Treating People with Respect and Doing the Right Thing. Angie also believes in treating her team members like family and never misses an opportunity to recognize and celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or major life accomplishment.
Luis Andujar with Carlisle Corporation, Niceville, FL: Luis has been a member of the Wendy's family for 10 years and is known around town as the nicest manager in Niceville. His Wendy's career began after moving from Puerto Rico to Florida to pursue his dreams, and through hard work, determination, and love of life he has been able to motivate and support others along the way. Luis inspires his team members by creating friendly weekly competitions and keeping the customer experience as his top priority. He strives to grow and retain his team through constructive feedback, building a family atmosphere in his restaurant, and encouraging everyone to do their best.
Dawn Schuler with The Wendy's Company, Lake Ronkonkoma, NY: Dawn has worked for Wendy's for 31 years and also holds the title of Wendy's Community Ambassador for her exemplary volunteer efforts in her community. Dawn likes to connect with her customers each day, whether it's meeting a new customer in the dining room or engaging with "regulars" who keep coming back. Her team members are taught from day one that the customers come first and that every customer should leave the restaurant happy. While Dawn focuses much of her energy on running a successful restaurant, she's also dedicated to making her team smile and recognizing them when they do an excellent job.
Gabriela Torres with RDR Foods Inc., Woodland Hills, CA: Gabriela's career at Wendy's began 15 years ago and she says being a GM has made her more social, patient, and understanding. Consistency is key at Gabriela's restaurant and customers often bring her restaurant team members treats as a special "thank you" for the exceptional level of service they provide. Gabriela considers her employees to be family, and more than half of her team members have worked for her for more than 10 years. She takes great pride in her restaurant and her team, and she has successfully developed six individuals to assistant manager positions.
Colin Dickson with Primary Aim, Greenville, PA: Colin has been a Wendy's family member for 19 years and serves as the president of his franchise organization's GM Council, where he is able to join his peers in sharing feedback with the senior leadership team. Being a Wendy's leader has taught Colin a great deal about compassion, and he believes that hard work and Doing the Right Thing are the most important traits of a good leader. Colin is a role model for individual development, and through his focus on training and education he recently helped develop one of his restaurant managers to the GM level.
Cindy Eterno with Jorcody Restaurants, Inc., Vancouver, WA: Cindy's career at Wendy's began 13 years ago and her favorite part of her job is engaging with customers and making them feel right at home in her restaurant. She empowers her team members by teaching that everyone can positively impact the customer experience and believes a passion for service, along with a love of people, is necessary to run a successful restaurant. Honest and dependable, Cindy is the first to jump in if the restaurant is short-staffed and is a true role model for what it means to Delight Every Customer, Period.
Maria Mejia with The Wendy's Company, New York, NY: Maria has worked for Wendy's for six years and believes that treating her team members with respect helps motivate them. A fan of friendly competition, Maria often hosts contests to see which team member can increase sales, and she also manages an Employee of the Month program to recognize and celebrate her team. Maria likes to remind her team to ask for help if they need it and believes that giving 110% effort will lead to success. Maria teaches her team that with the right attitude and work ethic, the possibilities for career advancement at Wendy's are endless.