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 in excess of $800 million, Thompson Hospitality operates in 45 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 9th in Food Management Magazine’s 2020 ranking of the “50 Largest Contract Companies.” 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 service, Thompson Hospitality has continued its retail expansion through the years with the purchase of the Austin Grill restaurant chain (2006) and Big Buns Burgers (2018), as well as the creation of The American Tap Room, brb (“Be Right Burger”), Willie T’s Lobster Shack, The Delegate, and Makers Union Pub for the People, purchased Matchbox Bistro and Milk & Honey in 2008, 2011, 2014, 2020, and 2021, respectively. Further developing The Ridley and Ralph Sampson’s ATR in Charlottesville in 2021-2022, and CUT132 Steakhouse in Columbus, OH in 2023. These Thompson-owned brands are not just successful restaurants “on the street”; they can also be found in many Compass and Thompson Hospitality contract foodservice accounts. As with foodservice, Thompson Hospitality has expanded its capabilities in the facilities management arena as well, providing services to both large corporations and several HBCUs.
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.
Warren 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, Pepsi-Cola’s African American Advisory Board, Federal Realty Investment Trust, Duke Realty and Trustee with his alma mater Hampden-Sydney College. He currently serves on several Board of Directors to include Compass Group NA, Performance Food Group, Sizzle, as well as, these professional organizations: The Presidents Club of DC, Sigma Pi Phi, the 123 Club, American Heart Association CEO Roundtable, Alpha Phi Alpha and the Executive Leadership Council.
Warren received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Managerial Economics from Hampden-Sydney College and holds an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.