Burger King Franchisee Profile - Mike Laird
In honor of Veterans Day, we are proud to have members of our Burger King family that have served the United States, including Mike Laird, a Veteran and second-generation BK Franchisee.
Mike’s dad became a Burger King Franchisee in 1995. It was a natural progression for Mike to join his dad after serving two deployments in Iraq in the early 2000s. In 2006, Mike joined his dad where together, they ran a total of 19 restaurants throughout Arizona, and when it came time for his dad to retire, Mike purchased the restaurants. Today, Mike is the CEO and President of Laird Management LLC., running a total of 29 restaurants across state of Arizona.
According to Mike, being a Veteran and a Franchisee have very similar components. Being “analytical, procedure-focused, and aligned with other partners” are necessary traits of a successful mission and business. His leadership style is deeply rooted in what he learned throughout his service. In fact, Mike uses a coin program within his company, a system he learned from his deployment. As a symbol of recognition and empowerment, Mike awards coins to his Team Members for their various efforts that can then be redeemed for prizes, keeping the teams engaged and incentivized. Mike’s leadership exudes humility and strength, believing in the “goodness” of his team. His take on leadership is very people-focused, and he says it comes down to being good to people. Although we are not perfect, it is a lens we can always go back to and think on.”
Mike also celebrates the Franchisee system, relishing the collaborative nature of the community in which he serves Guests across the state. “We support each other reach out and tackle issues together. The community understands each other. When we are together, we are better; it makes the brand stronger.”
In addition to BK, Mike prioritizes his work with Veterans. He partners with organizations that directly support and aid Veterans.
Mike talks highly of the “iconic All-American” brand that we are, and one that has been a big part of his life since childhood. He shares the strongest thing about the Franchisee system is the other Franchisees. Circling back to Mike’s lens of “goodness”, his relationships within his Veteran and Franchisee communities mirror his ideology of simply “being good to people”.
Thank you for your service, Mike!