ABOUT ANTHONY WEDO
Over the past 30 years, Anthony Wedo has been a Fortune 50 executive, the CEO of some of the nation’s largest restaurant chains, and an entrepreneur. A leader who specializes in transforming businesses during periods of significant change, Anthony has developed and acquired restaurants in every major market in the U.S. and has recruited and managed franchisees in all parts of the country.
When not leading or consulting on companies’ reinvigoration and growth strategies, Anthony spends his time developing authentic leaders by sharing his expertise – whether on CBS’s “Undercover Boss,” where he was featured in two of its most popular episodes; as a speaker at national industry events, workshops and retreats; as the author of “The 12 Commandments: Lessons in Servant Leadership”; or as a professor at the University of Delaware’s Lerner College of Business & Economics.
Anthony credits his behavioral leadership expertise to three defining categories to his success: rapidly growing startups, consolidating and transforming brands, and turning around and reinventing corporations.
Rapidly Growing Startups
Anthony played a pivotal role in building Boston Market’s Mid Atlantic franchise business from scratch. In only three and a half years, he raised $70 million in funding, built a world-class leadership team, and grew the business to $250 million in sales across 150 stores, with 7,000 employees across seven states. His work was recognized by USA Today, NASDAQ and the Governor of Pennsylvania for being a top 50 employer in the state, as well as Boston Market corporate operations for excellence in sales, controllable profit, legal compliance and area development. He was instrumental in converting Boston Chicken to Boston Market, serving as the Chief Concept Officer for the U.S. brand. Anthony was named by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year and also named to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.
Consolidating and Transforming Brands
At New World Restaurant Group, the country’s largest bagel bakery café, Anthony was recruited as CEO and quickly promoted to CEO, President and Chairman of the Board. He was tasked with integrating multiple brands and turning around operations for Einstein Brothers Bagels, and he did just that. Anthony completely restructured the senior leadership executive team, negotiated $160 million in funding and consolidated six separate bagel restaurant brands into a single dynamic brand. He captured $15 million in efficiencies, driving revenue to $34 million and boosting profits by 200 basis points. Growing the business to 10,000 employees across 1,000 stores and $750 million in annual sales, Anthony led the company to a successful sale in 2004.
Turning Around and Reinventing Corporations
The operator of six national buffet brands, including Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s and Tahoe Joe’s, recruited Anthony as CEO to reinvigorate its restaurant portfolio – a role that would attract the attention of CBS, which featured Anthony in two episodes of its hit TV show, “Undercover Boss.” Anthony transformed the company with a full rebrand and turned around operations through culture change, operational restructuring, team building and process refinement – work that dramatically exceeded investor expectations by building to $10.5 billion in sales, with 18,000 employees and 350 restaurants across 35 states. By shifting the company from a process-driven to innovation-driven approach, he was able to relaunch the brand with an aggressive marketing campaign, revitalize the menu and customer experience, and slash corporate expenses, including overhead by $45 million per year.
Anthony began his professional career at PepsiCo where he quickly rose through the ranks, becoming Vice President and General Manager of a $1 billion KFC division before age 30. He has served as an operating partner for several private equity firms, raising over $500 million in debt and equity and leading a successful public auction. Additionally, he has been a member of many corporate and non-profit boards.
Currently, Anthony guides investment in franchise growth brands, consulting with restaurant, hospitality and retail clients, as well as participating in speaking engagements. To learn more, get in touch.