London's Living Treasures Banquet 2019 - Page 44

Neil Warren From college football player to franchise owner, Neil Warren strives to live up to his word in every- thing he does. "I own and operate the restaurant Bojangles. I do everything from fulfilling a catering order to pay- roll to paying the bills to hiring and firing," Warren explained. He graduated from Georgetown College with a degree in finance in 2004. He minored in com- munications because, to Warren, people-skills are some of the most impor- tant traits one can have. "Multiple different loca- tions with multiple people creates lots of different moving parts. I try to make sure each and every indi- vidual understands their value to our business. That takes time, energy and ef- fort to make sure you have a relationship with those people," said Warren. In college, Warren played on the George- town Tigers football team. Throughout his life, he's played baseball and bas- ketball as well. "I probably learned all the disciplines I learned today in sports," Warren explained. "I don't devalue education at all, but lots of times education can come in a lot of different platforms. For me, it was sports that taught me how to grind, taught me the im- portance of a good work 44 ethic." Warren came to be a Bo- jangles owner because of friends and mentors he's known in the restaurant business. Bojangles was also a brand that's been with him since his child- hood. "We'd stop at a Bon- jangles along the way to the Carolinas. There, Bo- jangles is king. There are more Bojangles in North Carolina than there are McDonald's. That's why there was the biggest op- portunity for growth for Bojangles in the state of Kentucky, because there was zero here until I start- ed up here in London." Since opening Bonjan- gles in London in 2014, Warren opened two more in Corbin and Somerset. He hopes to be able to grow Bojangles in Ken- tucky to the status it has in the Carolinas. "Be precise, be orga- nized, be committed," advised Warren, "be who you say you're gonna be and be committed to your plan." London’s Living Treasures Banquet 2019