‘Global Leadership through Service’ Symposium Brings Wendy’s Executives to UM

Photo by Elizabeth Burgreen

Leaders from the international Wendy’s Company gave University of Mississippi students a behind-the-scenes look into the quick-service restaurant during the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management’s Global Leadership through Service Symposium on March 20.

John Peters, chief operating officer and Daniel Collins, senior vice president and treasurer, spoke on “Strategic Leadership: A Recipe for Success,” highlighting the company’s values, brand vision and strategy.

“There are some tremendous leaders in the United States and in the world who are in the hospitality or dietetics profession,” said Mary Roseman, associate professor of nutrition and hospitality management and chair of the symposium. “These industries are significant in terms of number of employees, sales volume and the whole sense of customer client and service focus.”

Peters and Collins discussed Wendy’s past and present, from the first store that opened in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio, to the more than 6,500 company or franchisee-owned stores worldwide that constitute over $9 billion in global system sales. The executives also spoke about the “6 Ps” — people, price, product, promotion, place and performance — that make up the restaurant’s overarching guiding principle: quality.

“Quality is what Wendy’s is,” Collins said in the presentation. “We want quality in our service, products and customers. We are trying to improve that every day in our business.”

Roseman said the leadership symposium was held to help expose alumni, faculty, staff, students, industry professionals and friends to leadership and employment contributions and opportunities in the hospitality and dietetics professions.

“We’re trying to reach a pretty wide target audience because we think it’s important to help them understand how large these industries are and the opportunities that are there,” Roseman said. “Often, people only see it from the front. They walk into a restaurant and buy food. They don’t often get the opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes thinking that comes from people [who] are over large corporations.”

Following the presentation, audience members participated in a question-and-answer session and networking reception. Around 100 students attended the event.

It was really exciting to see the students ask questions to these top executives at Wendy’s and just how natural the dialogue was,” Roseman said. “The students were very engaged and had very thoughtful questions about restaurants, leadership, strategy and employment opportunities.”

For more information on the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management at UM, click here.