Chicago-based brand partner Vince Romano knows what it takes to be a successful business man. A jack of all trades, his first job worked was a meat cutter at a grocery store, where he moved up to manager, and now owns a variety of businesses. Vince opened his first Wingstop in 2005 and helped pioneer the midwestern market. His entrepreneurial spirit truly embodies the Wingstop Way, which is why he was honored with the Wingstop Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.
What made you want to become a brand partner?
In 2004, I was visiting my son at Carthage College and we decided to try Wingstop. I had never heard of it, but I loved everything about the brand from the first time I walked in. The Lemon Pepper just sold me, and I remember thinking “man this is great stuff!” The presentation of the product and the atmosphere of the restaurant was incredible. I also loved that the brand was so unique, and at that the time, we didn’t have anything like it in the Chicago market. I was looking to diversify from my cleaning and print companies, so I contacted the team and flew down to Dallas. The rest was history. I ended up opening the second, third, and fourth Wingstops in the Chicago market and opened others in Madison, Wisconsin.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being a brand partner?
I just love the small, family feel of the company even though we are big. It’s honestly been instrumental for me to get my kids involved. My daughter came to work for me right away, and my son came right after he graduated from college. I want my team members to know me, and I want them to know we’re family. I always tell my kids “you’ve got to be humble, you’ve got to be compassionate, you’ve got to be thankful.”
Do you have any tips for entrepreneurs?
- If you are trying to become an entrepreneur you need to realize it’s a 24/7 commitment, and you must be passionate to succeed. Find something that will keep your fire burning.
- Make sure you set attainable goals, and once you reach them, set new ones. Never get complacent.
- Care about your people. I know all our team members and I want them to know me.
- Know that you must suffer some pain in order to get the gain. I’ve instilled that in my kids, and their work ethic will be my legacy.