In celebration of the best in restaurant leadership, the Nation’s Restaurant News 2021 Power List highlights those who demonstrate innovation, resilience, diversity and inclusion and those who strengthen the industry with leadership and knowledge sharing. In this year’s Power List, NRN selected 25 restaurant leaders and asked each individual to select a “Power Player” on their team who embodies the mission and values of their organization.
Inspire CEO Paul Brown was recognized following one of the largest acquisitions in restaurant history, when Inspire acquired Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins to become the second-largest restaurant company in the United States by locations and sales. Brown has led the growth of Inspire following the 2018 acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings and Rusty Taco, followed by SONIC and in 2019, Jimmy John’s.
Brown selected Inspire Chief Commercial Services Officer Navin Sharma to the NRN Power List thanks to his efforts in equipping the company with capabilities that will drive competitive advantage and long-term growth. In just under three years, the Inspire Commercial Services team has nearly quadrupled while building capabilities to benefit all facets of the business, from development and operations analytics to loyalty and one-to-one marketing.
Karim Webb, Buffalo Wild Wings franchisee and CEO of 4th MVMT — an organization that invests in entrepreneurs largely from communities of color who are overcoming trauma and lack access to capital, was named to the NRN Power List thanks to his advocacy for a more equitable restaurant industry. Webb operates four Buffalo Wild Wings locations in predominantly minority communities and has worked to help remove barriers for Black and Latino people through 4th MVMT and other efforts like Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership, a leadership and mentorship program.
Webb selected Buffalo Wild Wings Chief Marketing Officer Rita Patel for her work in helping propel the brand into its post-pandemic future. Following a year unlike any other, Patel and Buffalo Wild Wings are leveraging digital capabilities to maximize the guest experience, from streamlining transactions, enhancing off-premises offerings and personalizing guest interactions.
View the full 2021 Power List at NRN.com.