Talk of Tacala

Giving Back and Mentoring the Next Generation of “Donut Finishers”!

My name is Wayne Thompson, and I have been working in the Restaurant industry for over 35 years. I have a passion for family, people and serving my community!

In 1985 I started my career working at a Donut Shop as a Finisher in New York City. My job was to finish the donuts with a variety of toppings and fillings. I was always critical of my work, because the end products were a direct reflection of my effort, passion and dedication to excellence when they were displayed publicly for customers to purchase. I spent several years at that company and was promoted to Kitchen Manager overseeing the production and delivery logistics of bakery items for over 20 locations. Ever since I have been fascinated with management, people, products and profits. Over the last 35 years I put myself through college earning a business degree, worked for several companies in several states, and it has been an exciting and enjoyable adventure.

I joined Tacala in November 2016 as Restaurant Leader in Hoover, Alabama, and one of the things that attracted me to Tacala was their focus on serving our communities with an emphasis on helping teens. Hoover was a busy and challenging location with a very young team, and as a result I had to adapt my leadership style. This helped me grow as a person, a leader, a motivator, and a friend. It was a pleasure to see the teamwork of my employees working together to create an enjoyable atmosphere to serve each other and our customers!

Over the last few years, Tacala has given me the opportunity to take on other challenges, like my current role overseeing 7 locations spanning from Huntsville to Florence, Alabama as an Area Coach.  I have the pleasure of working with some incredible people including my fellow Area Coaches and my seven awesome Restaurant Leaders. I love my job, because I have the ability to make a difference and have a positive impact in the lives of my Team and my community.

I also enjoy being involved in our local Boys and Girls Club in North Alabama and having an impact on the teen club members’ lives. Tacala plays an important role supporting the Boys and Girls Clubs organizations in our communities both financially and physically through different ways. The funds raised from our round up program and restaurant fundraisers make a huge impact on our local Boys and Girls Clubs, so I try to encourage my teams to ask every customer to donate. The more money we raise, the more teens we can help!

I have also personally contributed to the Boys and Girls Club as a mentor by helping teens learn job readiness through resume coaching and interview practice. It is rewarding to help the teenagers get ready for jobs, and see their excitement as they become the “Donut Finishers” in their new companies. All of my hard work has given me the experience to help our youth, who are just starting their career journeys. I encourage the teens by telling them my career story and reminding them that with hard work and a positive attitude, their possibilities will be endless!

The last 35 years have truly been an adventure! It’s true, when you are doing something that you truly love, it comes easy even through the hard times, because you know there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Through my experiences I can assure you that if you stick with what you are doing and do it the best of your ability, over time you will be rewarded. You will gain confidence in yourself and your abilities if you immerse yourself, learn and give back. To me the adventure has only just started!