Food & Drink International - Spring 2017 Volume 1 - 42
Making a Difference
Hamra Enterprises strives to revolutionize the restaurant industry.
By Alan Dorich
Headquarters: Springfield, Mo.
Employees: Approximately 7,000
Specialty: Restaurants and hospitality
Mike Hamra, president and CEO:
"We have a lot of guests that use
our restaurants on a daily basis
>> Hamra Enterprises is committed to making a difference in its customers' experiences.
thrived for more than four
decades thanks to its culture. "One of my favorite
things to say is, 'We sell hamburgers,
french fries, soups, salads and noodle
dishes, but our business is people,'"
President and CEO Mike Hamra says.
Based in Springfield, Mo., the company operates 162 restaurants, including Wendy's, Panera Bread and
Noodles & Co. locations, as well as
a Holiday Inn Express hotel. The firm
started in 1975, when Hamra's father,
Sam Hamra, became a Wendy's franchisee in Southwest Missouri soon
after his brother and cousin became
franchisees with their own territories.
"Today, we're the only remaining
family members in the business,"
Mike Hamra says.
The company owes its longevity to its focus on revolutionizing the
restaurant industry, Hamra says. "Our
food & drink international * spring 2017 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com
commitment is to make a difference
in the experience that our customers
have," he states.
This has paid off for Hamra Enterprises, which enjoys strong repeat
business in its locations. "We have a
lot of guests that use our restaurants
on a daily basis for gatherings, regardless of the brand," he says.
This is largely driven by the relationships customers have formed
with employees, Hamra adds. "It's
often that I will visit stores and meet
guests who know the manager's
name," he says.
In turn, those managers remember
the guests' favorite orders, Hamra
adds. "There's a lot of great examples
of times when guests walk through
the doors, and they will have those
orders ready for them," he says.
Hamra Enterprises faces more competition in its industry. "The challenge
is in remaining relevant to our guest,"
Hamra says, noting that the company
manages this through refresh and remodel programs at its locations.
"We're certainly doing that in the
Wendy's brand," he says, noting that