Samir Z., general manager of the Wendy’s restaurant in Coldwater, Indiana, is celebrating one year with Wenco this summer, and he couldn’t be any happier.
The busy husband and father to two young children has taken quite the journey. Originally from Afghanistan, Samir came to the United States as a teenager. After serving in the US Army in Afghanistan, where he learned the valuable skills of discipline, teamwork, and focusing on a mission, he helped his family run their gas stations, then managed a number of Get-2-Go convenience stores for several years. In 2019, he decided to take his skills and experience to Wenco.
“I had the opportunity to meet Chad and Jamie [a Wenco owner and the VP of operations], and they blew me out of the water––the respect they have for their employees. These guys made me feel like family, not a number.” These leaders showed up to Samir’s restaurant in person within his first month on the job, a gesture that he says underscored Wenco’s commitment to valuing and celebrating their employees.
That Wenco value is contagious. In a time when it’s hard to fill positions with dedicated people, Samir has built an amazing team. “Word spreads! A lot of my employees have come here because they know they will be treated with respect. You can treat workers like robots, or you can treat them like humans. When they come to work and enjoy themselves, guess what? They’ll be excited to come back tomorrow.”
Samir emphasizes Wenco’s commitment to work-life balance as one of its greatest attributes. Even as a general manager, “I can have a life,” he says. “I’ve been able to start a young family and not worry about missing their birthdays and events. The company recognizes what’s important, and it extends to everyone.” When you’re happy at both work and home, he explains, you do better at both.
As a Muslim who immigrated to the US in his youth, Samir has faced discrimination throughout his life. Not so at Wenco. “What makes this company great is I have never faced discrimination or felt uncomfortable,” he says. Wenco is not only family friendly, but faith friendly as well, giving Samir the flexibility to observe religious holidays.
Now Samir is excited to pass the torch by training new general managers. Many of these people have had years of experience in fast food management, but they spend a couple of months under Samir’s wing as he teaches them the “Wenco way” and culture. And it’s a privilege to pass those values along.
“I feel more proud of the leadership here every day,” he says. “Wenco is the place to be!”
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Wenco Wendy's Franchises
400 Claremont Ave
Ashland, Ohio 44805