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What drives the nation’s top foodservice operators? We asked the 2018 Silver Plate Class and got an inside look at what makes them the operator all-stars they are today. Find out what they have to say about their passion for foodservice, career accomplishments and what it means to be part of a legendary group of operators.

Paul Brown, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Brands, received the 2018 Silver Plate Award in the Chain Limited Service category. Nominated by Ecolab. 


What do you enjoy most about your career in foodservice?

We’re in the business of creating experiences for our guests. This mindset means that we have the opportunity to make exciting investments in areas that our industry hasn’t previously been at the forefront on – areas like data and analytics, digital technologies, and customer personalization. Our industry still has a ways to go in utilizing emerging technologies to truly enhance the guest experience, but we’re making huge strides, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed helping lead our company in these efforts.

Tell us about your biggest career accomplishment:

The steps we’ve taken at Arby’s, collectively as an organization and as a franchise system, to revitalize the brand is something that I’m incredibly proud of. Over the past five years, we grew our global system sales by 20 percent, built or remodeled more than 1,000 restaurants, and welcomed back more than 20 million new or lapsed guests to our restaurants. I’m so proud of the work our team has done and continues to do.

How is your segment making a difference for the foodservice industry?

1 in 3 Americans had their first job experience in a restaurant. As an industry, we have the ability to make a difference in the lives of millions of restaurant team members each and every day. Regardless of whether our team members stay with us long-term, or if they decide on a different path, we’re working to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed – professionally and personally. 

What advice do you have for someone new to the foodservice industry?

I’m the beneficiary of having an incredible team at Arby’s who are now helping me launch Inspire Brands. One of the important lessons I learned early in my career is that success is ultimately a team effort.  A leader should build a team of talented, motivated people with diverse perspectives and skillsets and strive to get them aligned and all working together toward a shared purpose and vision.

What does being an IFMA Silver Plate recipient mean to you?

IFMA is one of our industry’s most influential voices. This recognition reaffirms the significant strides we made in reinvigorating Arby’s and gives me confidence in the road ahead for Inspire Brands.


Join us at the IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration and help us in honoring Paul Brown and the rest of the Silver Plate Class. Click HERE for event information and to reserve your table now!