Growing up, Kirsten Allen always imagined she’d become a teacher. What she didn’t know at the time was that her classroom would be in a restaurant setting.
Throughout her career, Allen has taken various opportunities to learn, educate and partner with team members to inspire smiles through delicious experiences. She joined the restaurant industry at just 14 years old, gaining valuable experience on the frontlines before joining Arby’s as a restaurant General Manager.
“I was contacted by a recruiter about a position at Arby’s,” Allen recalled. “What really stood out to me were the values that Arby’s represents and how team members live those values every day.”
Throughout her time at Arby’s, Allen witnessed first-hand how team members work collectively to nourish and support communities as an Area Supervisor, Franchise Business Consultant and eventually as the Senior Director of Operations. Allen was instrumental in strategic planning for restaurants while working to get the most out of team members through training and development programs.
In February, as Allen sought opportunities to advance her career, she took advantage of Inspire’s unique structure, where team members can move cross-functionally between brands. After nearly 17 years at Arby’s, she jumped at the opportunity to become a Regional Vice President at Buffalo Wild Wings, where she helps create the vision, purpose and culture for more than 2,000 team members, managers and multi-unit leaders.
“I’m so thankful for my time at Arby’s and I’m thrilled to stay at Inspire Brands, taking everything I’ve learned over the last 17 years to Buffalo Wild Wings,” Allen said.
“That’s what’s truly unique about working at Inspire, is the career growth opportunities across all of our brands.”
After nearly four months on the job, business is beginning to get back to normal as sports bars across the country open following the COVID-19 outbreak. For Allen, she can’t wait for the return to normalcy, where she’ll be able to focus on helping her new team succeed while creating a culture that turns game time into stories worth telling.
In addition to her responsibilities at Buffalo Wild Wings, Allen currently leads the Champions of Women Leaders business resource group at Inspire Brands. Through Champions of Women Leaders, members work to strengthen their leadership skills, utilize networking opportunities and provide resources that support the needs of women in the workplace.
Check out the video above, which captures Allen’s first day on the job from February 3, 2020.