What are Company Mission Statements of Largest Restaurant Companies?

From "wow" to "authentic," these companies have some lofty mission statements

What are Company Mission Statements of Largest Restaurant Companies Starbucks
© Starbucks Corporation reprinted with permission from news.starbucks.com

In a crowded and fiercely competitive retail restaurant industry, what differentiates one restaurant brand from another is essential to a chain’s successful survival. Each restaurant company should have a clear vision for its unique dining experience that can be clearly communicated and duplicated in each company-owned and franchise location.

The largest U.S. restaurant companies all have uniquely distinct mission, vision and values statements to guide their operations.

They define their brands, culture and customer experience. Each is as unique as the individual restaurant company and the dining experience it provides. Here are a few of the most notable. 

Applebee’s Mission Statement

Applebee's International, Inc. says it's all about contributing to the "growth, joy and enrichment of all the lives we touch." First launched in 1980 in Atlanta, Georgia by Bill and TJ Palmer, Applebee's changed hands a few times before going public in 1989. There are currently more than 1,500 Applebee's locations worldwide. The corporation has offered free meals to veterans in the U.S. every Veteran's Day since 2008. 

Boston Market Mission Statement

"To create awesome food, served quickly, by warm and friendly people." At least, that was the company's initial mission statement. It was later tweaked to change "food" to "rotisserie meals," the food that Boston Market is known for.

Arthur Cores and Steve Kolow opened the first Boston Market in Massachusetts with just a spit, a fire and a chicken. The concept worked. The company now has more than 450 locations and it employs about 10,000 people. 

Buffalo Wild Wings Mission Statement

Buffalo Wild Wings doesn't just want to offer you good food.

Its mission statement is to "wow" you – not just occasionally but "every day." The chain began in 1982 in Columbus, Ohio, and it was originally called Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck, a weck being a beef sandwich concoction beloved by folks in the Buffalo, New York region. These days, the company says it's about three things: wings, beer and sports. 

Cheesecake Factory Mission Statement

Technically, the Cheesecake Factory got its start in 1940s when Evelyn Overton created her cheesecake recipe. She opened her own bakery in Detroit, then she had to move operations into her own kitchen so she could raise her kids. The family relocated to Los Angeles in 1972 and her son launched their first restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1978 featuring Evelyn's cheesecakes. Don't let the restaurant's name fool you – the chain is about more than just cheesecakes these days. Its restaurants serve full-blown meal menus, although the focus remains on desserts. The Cheesecake Factory's mission statement says "Our mission is to create an environment where absolute guest satisfaction is our highest priority." 

Famous Dave's BBQ Restaurant Mission Statement

Famous Dave's mission statement is short and sweet: "Outstanding barbecue combined with outstanding hospitality." The barbecue recipe was the creation of Dave Anderson, a young Ojibwe Native American who wasn't exactly acing things in high school.

That didn't stop Dave Anderson from opening his first barbecue shack in Wisconsin in 1994 to pursue his goal – offering his customers the best barbecue in the country, if not the world. 

IHOP Mission Statement

The International House of Pancakes says simply that it wants to provide "good, quality food for breakfast." It's been owned by parent company Dine Equity since 2008. Dine Equity is essentially the original IHOP, Corp., but with a name change. The restaurant stresses "integrity, excellence, innovation, responsibility, recording, trust and community" in its franchisees and employees. 

Little Caesars Mission Statement

Little Caesars wants to be "the best take-home pizza chain by exceeding customer expectations with extraordinary value, great tasting products and outstanding people." Founded in 1959, it was the result of a blind date between Mike Ilitch and Marian Bayoff, who eventually married and dropped their entire life savings into opening a pizza store just outside Detroit.

It eventually became the fastest-growing pizza chain in the country. 

Papa John’s Pizza Mission Statement

Papa John's aims to create "raving fans" through "authentic, superior-quality products, legendary customer service and exceptional community service." And, of course, it gives customers all this by either delivery or pickup of some of the best pizza in town. Papa John's says its first pizza was created in a broom closet in Indiana. John sold his beloved Camaro to save the family business – a tavern – from bankruptcy. Then he converted the broom closet, adding a pizza oven in there, and he began making and selling pizzas in 1984.  

Starbucks Mission Statement

Starbucks' mission statement is more low key – there's no raving or wowing here, just commitment. "Our mission is to create an environment where guest satisfaction is our highest priority." The coffeehouse franchise grew from a single store in Seattle in 1971, selling custom coffee beans, ground coffee and spices. Today it boasts more than 25,000 stores located around the world. In partnership with Oprah Winfrey, Starbucks donated $21 million to youth education in 2017. 

Subway Sandwiches Mission Statement

“To provide the tools and knowledge to allow entrepreneurs to compete successfully in the fast food industry worldwide, by consistently offering value to consumers through providing great tasting food that is good for them and made the way they want it." That's Subway's mission. Founder Frank DeLuca began making his subs back in 1965 in an effort to fund his education – he wanted to become a doctor. He borrowed $1,000 and opened his first shop in Connecticut. Now with over 44,000 stores, the company remains privately owned.