The owners of the Jasper Buffalo Wings & Rings, Mike Weyer and Ann Bennett, were recently named Franchisee of the Year at the Cincinnati-based company’s annual conference in Clearwater, Fla.
They were chosen for the top award from among the brand’s more than 70 locations across the globe.
“At the end of the day, the team in Jasper delivered on the brand promise to their guests and community every single day in 2016 – and they continue to do so,” said Buffalo Wings & Rings CEO Nader Masadeh. “Jasper is one of our strongest performing restaurants, and that’s a testament to the hard work and dedication that Mike and Ann consistently bring to the store. Their team executes in serving our elevated menu items with a commitment to the absolute best in customer service. On top of that, they are great representatives in the local community there in Jasper.”
The choice is difficult according to Masadeh. The nominations made by the staff are based on how the franchise owners exemplify the brand’s culture and values while performing well in their market. The Jasper restaurant routinely performs in the top ten or higher each week among the 70 stores although it is located in one of the smaller markets.
Additionally, Mike and Ann are team players in the company culture.
“We want feedback and we want constructive criticism about things we could be doing at the corporate level to improve the sales and experience for our franchisees,”Masadeh said, “and Mike certainly looks for opportunities to suggest alternative ways to win and gives our team insight into what’s working in Jasper that we might be able to apply in other restaurants throughout the system.”
According to Ann, who also works as general manager at the restaurant, with most of their business being repeat business, she is dedicated to ensuring customers are happy with their experience.
“I owe this to our staff,” Ann said. “We strive for 100% customer service and I believe we are successful at this and it can be seen by the number of regular customers and the volume of business we do.”
According to Ann, the faces they see in the restaurant on a regular basis create relationships that are important in a small community. “We appreciate our regular customers,” she said. “Some customers come in and don’t even have to place an order, my staff already knows what they will get.”
Ann and Mike became interested in the franchise due to their experience as part of a traveling baseball team. They would regularly stop in at similar restaurants. After going to their first Buffalo Wings & Rings in Richmond, Indiana, they fell in love with the restaurant’s offerings. Two years later in 2008, they opened the franchise in Jasper.
For Ann, interacting with the customers is her favorite part of the job. “I love interacting with people and meeting new people,” she said. “I love serving people and making them smile. I enjoy making them happier than when they first walked in the restaurant’s doors.”
On the flipside, Ann wants to ensure everyone has a great experience and if something isn’t right, she wants customers to let her know so she can fix it. “Let me make it right so you will come back in,” she said.
Ann and Mike also extended a thank you to the community for supporting the restaurant.