M&T Bank Presents CEOs You Should Know

M&T Bank Presents CEOs You Should Know

Get to know the area's most influential CEOs close up and personal.Full Bio


Warren Thompson, Thompson Hospitality Corporation


Warren M. Thompson is President and Chairman of Thompson Hospitality Corporation, the largest minority-owned food service and facilities management company in the U.S. With 6,000 associates and revenue of more than $800 million, Thompson Hospitality operates in 48 states and six foreign countries, providing a wide range of services. Thompson Hospitality was founded in 1992, when Thompson completed a leveraged buyout of 31 Bob's Big Boy restaurants from his previous employer Marriott Corporation. He proceeded to convert the stores to Shoney's restaurants and several other proprietary restaurant concepts. Warren also expanded the company’s interests into the contract food service arena, and in 1997 created Thompson Hospitality Services, LLC by forging a strategic partnership with Compass Group, the world’s largest food service company. Through this alliance, Thompson Hospitality currently serves more than 65 Fortune 100 companies, large universities, and hospitals. Additionally, Thompson Hospitality has developed a specialty niche in providing food service to many of the Nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (“HBCUs”), becoming the largest player in that segment.

As with food service, Thompson Hospitality has expanded its capabilities in the facilities management arena, as well, providing services to both large corporations and several HBCUs.

Thompson Hospitality’s growth in revenue now places the company 10th in Food Management Magazine’s ranking of the “50 Largest Contract Companies”. The Washington Business Journal has ranked Thompson Hospitality as the Number One Minority-Owned Company for 2018. Previously a recipient of Black Enterprise Magazine’s coveted “Company of the Year” award, Thompson Hospitality is today ranked 7th among Industrial/Service companies on Black Enterprise’s “BE 100s” list.

In addition to contract food services, Thompson Hospitality has continued its retail expansion through the years, partnering with Matchbox Restaurant Group, Big Buns and the purchase of the Austin Grill restaurant chain, as well as, the creation and development of new concept restaurants, including: YOT Bar & Kitchen, The Delegate, The Rub & Hen Quarter, Hen Penny, Matchbox, Big Buns, the American Tap Room, brb (“Be Right Burger”), Willie T’s Lobster Shack. These Thompson brands are not just successful restaurants “on the street”; they can also be found in many Compass Group and Thompson Hospitality contract food service accounts. And in a move that brings full circle the company which started as a franchisee, Thompson Hospitality-licensed brands can also be found in airports.

On an individual level, Warren Thompson has been recognized throughout his career for his success in business and his contributions to the community. He has received many awards and honors, including the Humanitarian Award from the Congressional Black Caucus. He was recognized by Smart CEO Magazine as its “CEO of the Year” and Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Black MBA Association.

Thompson has had the honor of serving on the Board of Directors for several major corporations and universities, including the Darden School of Business Foundation Board, University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors, Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs, and Pepsi-Cola’s African American Advisory Board. He is currently a member of the Executive Leadership Council and serves on several Board of Directors to include Compass Group and Duke Realty.

Thompson received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Managerial Economics from Hampden-Sydney College and holds an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration

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