Old Country Buffet’s new CEO Anthony Wedo hosted an Executive Breakfast for Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville’s students. Guests enjoyed a complimentary breakfast as well as the opportunity to discuss restaurant and hospitality management with Wedo.
Anthony Wedo took over Buffet’s Inc. in 2012 after two major bankruptcies with a plan to re-image and increase profits for the chain of buffets. After six months in the CEO position Wedo was featured on an episode of CBS’ hit television shows Undercover Boss where he got to investigate various restaurants in the chain. Wedo’s favorite part of being on the show was the ability to help employees who were working hard but still struggling. He did find, however, that there needed to be some changes made throughout the buffets in order for them to be successful.
During the Executive Breakfast students and other guests got a firsthand look at the image Wedo was looking for as well as what he finds important in hospitality management. In order to revamp the restaurant and increase the number of customers who came to eat at Old Country Buffet and other buffets in the chain, the CEO determined four areas of growth.
The first was the décor. Those who had been to Old Country Buffet in the past noticed brighter colors and a cleaner atmosphere.
The second area of growth included the food offerings which now included individual portions as well as 85 new and improved recipes.
Other changes made throughout the restaurant was to include a game room called the “boardwalk” to create a family feel and increased customer service.
The new CEO has been slowly integrating these values into his chain of restaurants. One of the greatest lessons the students and guests received was the importance of leadership. Wedo stated, “in order to be successful in the hospitality industry, you need to realize that the needs of many outweigh the needs of the individual.”