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Management Philosophy - Putting People First

It’s fair to say that the success of Arctic Circle in recent years springs directly from Gary Roberts’ commitment to putting his people first, developing quality fundamentals, leadership and loyalty along the way.

He started with the company as Assistant Training Director and later held dual positions of manager of the company’s training center and area supervisor. That multi-faceted understanding of both Arctic Circle’s employees and its operations make Mr. Roberts a “dual threat” when it comes to doing business – and has left an indelible impact on the culture and progress of Arctic Circle.

Develop People

“My job is to develop people and make profit,” Mr. Roberts says of his primary responsibilities as President and CEO. His basic approach, he says, is to stand back and make assessments in the early stages of beginning a new venture – like taking on a new store – and concentrating on fundamentals like guest satisfaction and control. He relishes developing relationships with guests and employees – and he stresses value, speed of service and cleanliness.

Perhaps most importantly, he feels as though morale-building and employee development are crucial, and he believes in empowering employees to bring their own personalities, attitudes and energies to the table. That belief creates a trust that leads to a mutual loyalty. It is Mr. Roberts’ prescription for success.

Believe in People

Gary Roberts’ most innovative approach is really quite simple: “We are not in the food business,” he says. “We are in the people business.” Strange, coming from the president and CEO of a major fast-food restaurant chain? Not really. “I believe in my people, and they believe in me. That trust creates success, opportunity and profit. That’s why I say people are our greatest asset.”

Mr. Roberts tries to instill in his team a sense of trust and loyalty by giving them leadership, direction and a desire to accomplish goals. Getting his employees to tout the same brand messages, from store level to corporate level, has been Roberts’ mission: “Our primary goal is to exceed our guests’ expectations every day. In order to accomplish that task, I must instill in our team the desire to strive for success and to reach for the best. From there, of course, we hope we’ll succeed in a very competitive industry.”