Company Profile

Carl Ferland

Carl Ferland started his career with Denny’s in 1973 in Ft. Lauderdale as a dishwasher and then moved on to cooking for 2 years. Between 1975 and 1981, he was a manager, general manager and general training manager for several high volume restaurants in the Ft. Lauderdale and Miami areas. In 1981 he was chosen to manage the highest volume restaurant in the Company. This unique Denny’s located on Miami Beach seated over 235 people and had an inside lounge as well as a pool bar. His experience and success there helped him to reach a major career goal when he was promoted in 1983 to area supervisor over 7 restaurants. For the next 7 years, he supervised several different areas around Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Orlando and Daytona Beach.

In March of 1990, Carl relocated to the Denny’s corporate office in Spartanburg, South Carolina to become a senior operations coordinator, reporting directly to the Vice President of Operations and the Chief Operative Officer for Denny’s, Inc. He acted as a liaison between the field leaders and the various support departments in the organization.

After 21 years of working for Denny’s, Inc., Carl left in 1994 to become a franchisee of his first restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina. He had missed the daily interaction between guests and employees and enjoyed getting to know his customers again. Within 2 years, annual sales almost doubled at the Raleigh restaurant, and that remarkable success encouraged Carl to acquire more restaurants.

Carl stays connected to his business by being involved in the day to day operations, from personally reviewing guest comments to monitoring daily sales and guest count figures. His hands-on approach combined with the strong management team he has developed has kept his franchise enterprise focused and able to grow quickly and successfully. He has always believed that getting the right people in his organization is the key to positive results.

Carl is a founding member and current board member of the Denny’s Franchisee Association (DFA) and has served as the Chairman of various committees. The DFA provides representation and a unified voice for all franchisees by giving input and advice to Denny’s, Inc. when corporate decisions are made that affect the Denny’s brand.

Over the years, many employees have asked Carl, “How did you do it?” He offers the following basic values as the building blocks of his career.

Treat each other like family. We must look at both sides of every situation and assume value. Always do what is best for our guests, our people and the Company. Be straight forward with all your dealings, no hidden agendas. We must trust each other. Treat each other with respect and dignity. Everyone must practice the golden rule. “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” Speak to each other with kind words, respecting each others’ viewpoint and no gossiping; it only divides people.

No matter what job you have in this company, you must always be helping someone. All jobs can be easier if everyone gives a hand, whether it’s needed or not. It should not matter who gets the credit, because when one wins we all win. We must have harmony, just like you would expect in your own family. The lack of unity will destroy a team in no time, so if we are going to have a team, we must all get along. If we have a difference of opinion, we must resolve it in a professional, positive manner.

Don’t steal and don’t lie. This is the cost of entry in our company. It’s better to tell the truth and deal with the consequences, than to deceive. Report the facts as they are, don’t add to them, let the numbers be what they are. Don’t cheat; you are only cheating yourself in the long run.

One of the qualities of a great leader is to actively listen to his/her people. Always encourage feedback and provide it, so everyone knows where they stand. Always encourage people to use the open communication policy and suggestion program.

Every day, you decide what you will accomplish. Why not work hard to do the very best you can? If you don’t seek perfection, you can never reach excellence; always do what you say you are going to do, and try to do better tomorrow than you did today.

Be positive. A positive thinker gets positive results because they are not afraid of problems. Look at all problems as an opportunity to help someone, fix something or improve yourself. Focus your energy, not on the problem, but on the solution. Always say YES to our guests.