Meet Don Maclean - Senior Director of Operations Kings Dining & Entertainment
From hourly Door Host to Senior Director of Operations, Meet Mr. Don Maclean
Don joined the Kings team after over 20 years in the hospitality industry including owning his own group of pizza restaurants and years as a General Manager at a few full service, busy, casual theme dining concepts. Don came into the company as part of the opening team in Dedham in 2009 and was hired on as a “Door Host”.
It wasn’t long before Don’s leadership and people skills were clearly established and what started off as a part-time position as Don was getting his real estate license began to take on a role of its own. Don’s leadership and management instincts kicked in and he made himself part of the leadership team in Dedham.
Both the team members and the guests recognized Don as a leader as he became a “go to” guy on each shift and his responsibilities grew until he became a full time salaried “Senior Floor Manager” who was overseeing the security team and helped write the training program for future door hosts in the company. In 2011, Don stepped into the role of Assistant General Manager shortly after our 4th location opened and we were preparing for the 5th. Don was a firm believer in the development and mentorship of those around him. His ability to provide psychological safety to his team helped inspire many future generations to think outside the box and take major leaps into roles that Don would always encourage for them.
In 2014, as Kings’ growth continued, Don naturally assumed the role of General Manager of Kings Dedham, the very location where he started as a door host. Don’s promotion to General Manager was widely celebrated by Kings employees of all levels as, at this point, he had helped to promote, train and mentor dozens of leaders throughout the organization. Don led the team in Dedham to break records after years of operation as well as win multiple awards and earn accolades from the community and charitable groups on the South Shore of Massachusetts.. Don was always the “Mayor” of his town and did so by getting involved and supporting the many local groups to whom he would volunteer his and his team's time. Don helped to establish the Kings charitable brand of “Kings Cares” along with the Kings Marketing team with his ever-growing passion for corporate social responsibility.
In 2015, Don opened the Kings in Burlington, Massachusetts as the General Manager and helped create one of the most memorable openings to date. Don’s opening management team was made up of some of the most talented, motivated leaders ever assembled of which the majority today, are Senior Leaders, Directors and General Managers for the company under Don’s guidance. Most memorable was the seamless establishment of the Kings culture in Burlington, which was the largest location we had ever built with many moving parts and unique bells and whistles. This was done largely thanks to Don’s great communication and razor focus on training and systems.
Whenever Don was asked to get involved in projects, he always enthusiastically obliged. Whether he was asked to help with large events in the region, new store openings across the country or mentoring other locations that needed Don’s strong leadership, he would always find a way to make it happen. Don’s incredible balance was achieved due to his trust in his team and belief that you need to “train your replacement”; a statement Don has promoted and lived as long as many can remember. As the “Training Manager” for Kings, Don always believed that you should learn something every day and should teach others whatever you know without fear that it would have a negative impact on your current position.
In 2016, Don became the Director of Operations for Kings in the Northeast and oversaw the then four locations in the Boston area, leading a team made up primarily of those he had developed over the years. Don helped to develop, implement and support many of the great systems and routines for the company as well as being one of the primary support leaders in the rollout and implementation of the accounting and inventory management system used companywide. Don’s involvement in writing “Best Practices” and “Standard Operating Procedures” in all departments are one of the reasons for the operation's success of the company today. Most notable has been Don’s passion for safety and security at all levels, and Don helped to innovate the safety systems and protocol for the company.
In 2017, before the opening of Kings 11th location, Don was promoted to Senior Director of Operations. This promotion was largely due to Don’s strong leadership and his uncompromising support of the company’s growth and those around him. Don’s love for the brand and high levels of integrity coupled with one of the most incredible work ethics made him the shining example for the current and future leaders who look up to him.
Don Maclean has helped to shape Kings into what it is today. He has a true passion for guest service that has always been motivated to the many leaders and team members he has helped to mentor and encourage. Don thinks big, but never forgets the small things that are important to his team and his guests. Whether he is working behind the front desk, spinning pizzas in the kitchen or working with vendors and large-scale projects, Don is always giving 110% and is always willing to learn. The “Core Values” of Kings and what makes our company great are embodied in what Don does on a daily basis.
Don is living proof that “it is not who the person is today, but what they can be if you believe in them” as he works to establish this across the brand with the many leaders he empowers and develops and the humble remembrance of his journey with Kings. A great leader is not about a fancy resume and many years of experience with a big company. A great leader may be working at the front desk right now and Don and his team will be the ones to discover those talents they may not have known about with their genuine interest in and unwavering commitment to their team.