Ludington Wendy’s general manager receives top honors

LUDINGTON — The Wendy’s Company recently announced that Jackie Smith with Meritage Hospitality Group, a Grand Rapids based franchisee, has been recognized as a Top General Manager (GM) in its global restaurant system for 2017.

“My team and I always strive to provide a great product and service for our guests,” said Smith, general manager of Meritage’s Ludington restaurant. “We are all driven to meet our audacious goals, and this is a huge honor for our entire team.”

Jackie Smith (left), general manager of the Ludington Wendy's, is pictured with Wendy Thomas, the namesake of the brand. Smith was recognized as a Top General Manager (GM) in Meritage Hospitality Group's restaurant system for 2017. (Courtesy photo)

Jackie Smith (left), general manager of the Ludington Wendy’s, is pictured with Wendy Thomas, the namesake of the brand. Smith was recognized as a Top General Manager (GM) in Meritage Hospitality Group’s restaurant system for 2017. (Courtesy photo)

Smith is one of 200 outstanding GMs recognized at the Wendy’s Restaurant Support Center last week for their leadership, performance, dedication, and continuing service to the Wendy’s brand. These GMs represent the top 3 percent of the Wendy’s system.

“I am proud to see that one of our northern Michigan managers is receiving recognition for their hard work and success,” said Jeremy Wood, area director of Michigan for Meritage Hospitality Group. “This recognition speaks highly of Jackie and her team, especially when taking into account that they have effectively transitioned to the Meritage organization from an acquisition in early 2017.”

The Wendy’s system is 95 percent franchise-owned and operated, and GMs from the entire Wendy’s global network of more than 6,600 restaurants were evaluated against set criteria, such as customer satisfaction scores and customer count growth.

A total of 530 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 from 29 different countries – from the Bahamas to Venezuela – 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 their own hard work, initiative, and abilities.

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