Dan took a restaurant concept created by Alan Stillman and built an international company with a legendary culture. He is widely credited with creating the casual theme segment of the restaurant industry and in addition, with bringing sophisticated management controls and techniques to this emerging industry. Dan’s management school was 10 years with Boise Cascade. During those 10 years Boise Cascade grew from $30 million to $1.7 billion. His business career  took him from sawmill to board room (pun intended). He worked in sales, production and finally general management with Boise Cascade. He and his partners acquired Friday’s as an embryo and grew it into the highest volume, per unit restaurant chain in the world; uniquely without any advertising! I mean ZERO!   Currently he is writing a book about principled management. It defines the difference between numbers driven strategies and people driven strategies or as he says, ‘checkers vs chess’. It is a life and business help book, with both the why and how, based on his unique experiences. Being a hands-on operator his whole life, his perspective on management is from a different point of view than academia’s.  He has a “been there” “done that” common sense view.  Being a long distance, world sailor (equivalent to 6X around the world) these adventures have also given him a unique view of life. He is known for his metaphorical “fishhooks to the brain”  teaching of management methods and problem solving. He established the highest food quality standards in the casual theme segment of the restaurant industry making everything, including sauces and dressings,  from scratch. Consumers compared the fare favorably with white table cloth quality dining. This required a well trained and highly motivated staff noted for their PRIDE. His book will teach how Friday’s  accomplished such excellence in product while delivering it in an atmosphere noted for FUN. He has been meeting around the country with those that made Friday’s great and lived by the motto: “Be the best – have fun – make money!”  Dan left Friday’s in 1986….unfortunately things changed but those changes only highlight the effectiveness of Dan’s management theories. Friday’s history is an ideal case study beginning with the original success based on principled management, followed by decades long decline and then outstanding restoration, over the last several years in the UK’s Friday’s, using the original founding principles. The U.S Friday’s continues to provide a contrasting management strategy. A great story about the importance of people centered management and the standard of excellence.

Passionate pursuits: sailing, skiing, flying and his lovely wife Sandy.

 

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