Meet Brendan LeBlanc - Kings Burlington Executive Director of Operations
Started in 2010 as a “Wait Assistant” (Bus Boy), to Executive Director of Operations at Kings Burlington
When looking back on his nearly 9 years at Kings, Executive Director of Operations Brendan LeBlanc sees his journey as one where, over and over again, he was given the opportunity to grow and succeed.
“You have to take chances on people,” Brendan says. “You look at someone and you don’t see where they are today, you see where they could be down the road. That’s the magic behind it all.”
By his own admission, Brendan wasn’t always so future-looking: Self-described as “too hyper for college,” Brendan started working at Kings in 2010 when he was fresh out of high school and looking to pick up some simple, straightforward work as he pursued his dream of being a firefighter. After a short, uninspiring stint in retail, Brendan applied for and accept the position of Busser at Kings’ Dedham location. At the time, it seemed like a great way to balance work and the EMT classes Brendan was taking. Yet what started as just way to make a little money on the side soon became something much more central in Brendan’s life.
Over the course of two years, Brendan went from a busser and food runner to barbacking. Brendan’s affable, personable nature made him a natural front-of-house team member. After several months barbacking, he was promoted to host and guest door greeter. His would be the first face guests would see when they arrived, checking IDs and making sure they were served promptly.
While Brendan describes himself as passionate and hardworking, he is quick to attribute much of his success to the support and trust of those around him.
“Part of why I kept getting promoted was that I really bought in to what I was doing, I really trusted the process,” Brendan says of his steady climb at Kings. “I was always given opportunities and put in a position to succeed, never put in a position to fail.”
Growth Starts at the Top
Brendan’s biggest opportunity to succeed came as after a year of hosting he was promoted to Floor Supervisor overseeing daily operations. Brendan bounced from the Dedham location to the original Kings in Boston’s Back Bay, learning everything he could and collaborating with Kings’ senior management like now-Senior Director of Operations Don Maclean who was, at the time, Brendan’s General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Josh Rossmeisl.
“It all starts at the top and trickles down,” Brendan answers when asked to describe the culture of growth behind Kings. “Don and Josh showed me it could be more than just a job, it could be a career. They’re the ones that taught me that Kings is about taking chances on people and helping them grow.”
From floor managing Dedham and Boston, in 2015 Brendan was tapped to help open Kings latest location in Burlington, MA - as Senior Floor Manager. Brendan worked for a year in Burlington helping to get the new, massive location off the ground. Brendan eventually moved North to the Lynnfield Kings to work with General Manager and Mentor Christopher Barrows where the two elevated Lynnfield’s service and training program and improved the overall operations. Brendan was eventually promoted to Assistant General Manager in Lynnfield.
Even with this incredible rate of growth, Brendan wasn’t done with his journey. Not long after his transfer to Lynnfield, he was promoted to General Manager where he managed the location for two years before transferring to Burlington to oversee operations there. In September of 2019 during our Annual Leadership Conference, Brendan was promoted to Executive Director of Operations of the Burlington location with additional operational and forecasting support to all Kings locations.
Over the last year, Brendan has helped train and mentor managers internally and those that have come into the company as Kings has grown. Brendan has traveled to several locations throughout the country to assist in operations support and development of leaders in the remote locations.
Aside from operations, Brendan has helped to develop and define the sports marketing program at Kings and “The Draft Room” by working closely with the teams to build a loyal fan base by acting like a sports bar. Brendan’s passion for sports, coupled with his knowledge of Kings operations has been a major driver for the successful launch of the “Draft Room” and the passionate approach Kings now has for the sports viewing experience.
Success Stories and Inspiration
For Brendan, the power of his personal journey at Kings isn’t lost on him, yet he sees it as something that speaks to to the culture of promoting from within that Kings has cultivated over the years. This, in turn, has impacted the way he interacts with the team he oversees and takes under his wing.
“I started as a busser 8 years ago and people invested a lot of time into me to let me grow,” he says. “When I travel to new locations and talk to newer team members, I always talk about my story and ask them about the way they want to grow.”
Brendan says that lately, he has realized the power of his story as a tool to motivate other people and drive them to take their career at Kings to the next level - while giving them every opportunity he himself was given on his own journey.
“When I hire someone, I think ‘How can I get you from being a busser to a server in a year?’” Brendan says. “I want to give someone an opportunity and see how they run with it. It’s not who the person is today that is important, but what they can be if you believe in them.”
Brendan's story will not end here. His growth is based on his passion, integrity, work ethic and belief in his team and supporting them and growing them. Brendan’s journey shows that at Kings, it doesn’t matter where you start - all that matters is where you’re going. Talent is all around you and comes in many different shapes and sizes. This mantra is deeply ingrained in the DNA of Kings and will never get lost as the company is made up of leaders who started much like Brendan and have traveled to the many roles that now make up the Senior Leadership Team.
If are looking to join an ever-growing team of driven, passionate people will support you on your journey, apply today.