Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Popeye's manager sets high goals for Racine store
Since graduating from Park High School in 1991, Ruben Allen, knew the importance of hard work and drew upon the values he’d been taught as a child to carve himself a bright future.
So after several years of odd jobs, Ruben jumped at the opportunity to work for a newly obtain Popeye’s restaurant franchise in Racine. It was just the break he’d been waiting far.
“I‘m the type of person that my parents taught me to be organized. I knew that when I came to Popeye. I just put my best foot forward and started learning.”
A Milwaukee owner had recently sold the business to Mike Aisbet, who is still is the proprietor of the store located 920 Washington Ave.
Ruben said the store was not doing well at the time he joined the team.
“I learned quickly using what I call a sixth sense. I just started paying attention the whole time I was working and would implement what I saw Mike doing.”
In fact his work was so well done, it quickly caught the eye of his boss, who promoted him through the ranks swiftly.
“I never thought I could become a general manager without extensive school and training.”
Today Ruben oversees about 25 employees. Each day he says he wants to make an improvement to the business he manages.“I want this location to be the best Popeye’s in the nation.”
The Popeye’s story begins in New Orleans back in 1972, with one restaurant and a commitment to quality and service. Thirty-five years later, Popeye’s Chicken is the second largest quick-serve chicken concept with over 1,850 restaurants worldwide and millions of satisfied customer served yearly.
One of these lucrative franchises is what Ruben hopes to own one day.
Ruben once toyed with the idea of becoming a professional model. Now he sees himself as a mentor to the many young men and women who are given their first opportunity to work. He says many employees come to him with few or no skills and it’s his duty to instill a work ethic in them.
Seen as an old cliché, his first effort is to teach Popeye’s customer credo. “Customer hospitality is a must,” explained Ruben. “You want to be able to get the customer in and give them complete satisfaction from the time they walk in the door to the time they finish their meal and leave.” He adds, “We want the customer to have a positive interaction with the Popeye’s employees.”
Another role of Ruben’s is to make sure the employees have a business attitude. “This is very important. I’m hiring new people everyday and I must make sure that they are on the top of their game in every aspect, as far as the customer is concerned.”
Ruben wishes he could instill these life values into young adults much earlier.
“As parents or guardians of a child, it is our responsibility to show them, guide them at a certain age, not when they are too old. We must teach them to understand that it is there responsibility to get prepared to enter the workforce.”