Method Man.

For Williams, food safety is a key element of Wendy’s philosophy (the “Fresh, never frozen beef” tagline isn’t just a motto, it’s a way of life). Williams is often analyzing and implementing processes that suppliers utilize to keep products safe. “I am a big fan of process. Given the breadth of what we work with it’s important to be constantly evaluating and finding ways to improve process.”

Great Minds.

Part of what Williams loves about his job is the chance to work alongside Jorge Hernandez, Wendy’s vice president of quality assurance. “He’s been a great mentor along the way. What he’s really taught me specifically about the food industry is how to add value to the process and build a process where we’re less reactive.”

Remote Control.

Like everyone else, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Williams to think about his job differently. He led a pilot program using Google Glass to get a remote view into some of the supply partners that Wendy’s works with. “What we learned throughout that process is that it can’t replace being there, but what you can do is enhance or do better with remote technology. So rather than try to do a visit once a year, the remote technology allows you to follow up much more often. I can have multiple touch points with the suppliers. I would argue we’re doing better than we did before.”

Next Up.

So, what does it mean for Williams to be a part of the new generation of food safety professionals? “The new generation needs to step up. I personally see it as a challenge and an opportunity to be a part of the new guard. We need to support all the opportunities we come across as we deal with the complexities of the supply chain.”

“The new generation needs to step up. I personally see it as a challenge and an opportunity to be a part of the new guard.” Mike Williams

Data Driven.

One way that Williams and his team are proactive when it comes to food safety and quality assurance is by analyzing data. “Our role continues to be utilizing that data to understand and mitigate brand risk. How do we innovate, be proactive and get ahead of potential issues with food safety and quality before they happen?”

Meal Deal.

Despite a plethora of menu options to choose from at Wendy’s, Williams tends to stick to the classics. “I always order Dave’s Single with a Frosty. Our burgers are a step above everybody else.”

Safety School.

This past June, Wendy’s recognized World Food Safety Day, but the company went a step further by creating World Food Safety Month within its system. “What that meant was a focus on food safety programs and training. And for me, it was great because I felt like I played an important role in building the systems on the front end that make execution easier restaurant level.”

Spin Cycle.

Williams, who has two young children, can often be found acting as their soccer coach. But Williams also likes to go mountain biking when he can. Though he’s been mountain biking in Colorado, his home state also boasts some prime biking real estate. “Being in Ohio, we have a lot of really cool places to go.”