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E John Banquil Jr

President & CEO

Ling & Louie's Restaurants

Location: Scottsdale

Founded: 2007

Industry: Food & Beverage/Hospitality

E. John Banquil Jr. is the president and CEO of Ling & Louie’s Restaurants, the management company for three modern Asian restaurant concepts: Ling and Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill, Ling’s Wok Shop, and Ghost Street Asian Taqueria.

The organization operates its own restaurants, but it also franchises the Ling and Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill concept, with three franchise locations and another one under construction. The company’s mission statement is “to create memorable dining experiences by exceeding expectations, day in and day out, in every way possible. Our vision is to be a company that provides an exceptional environment in which our team members and guests feel appreciated, respected and loved.”

Banquil said his greatest accomplishment in the last year was restructuring the leadership within Ling & Louie’s Restaurants. Banquil evaluated the existing leadership structure, identified areas for improvement and implemented a new model that clearly defines roles, establishes specific goals and encourages accountability.

“The most important risk I’ve taken as a leader was the decision to open Ling’s Wok Shop coming out of the pandemic,” Banquil said. “We signed the lease in January of 2021 and threw all of our resources into opening both a new restaurant and new concept. While I have been a part of several new restaurant opening teams throughout my career, this was the first restaurant I was able to call my own. It was a seemingly endless stream of doubt and questioning whether or not I made the right choice. Everyone thought I was crazy, buildout costs were out of control and the labor market was as tight as I’ve ever seen it.

“I learned so much in the nine months from signing the lease to opening our doors and will be forever grateful for the lessons learned. Now, a year and a half removed from the opening, I couldn’t be prouder of the risk I took to open this dynamic concept and the success it has seen!”

Banquil believes that growth goes beyond financial achievements, and he has set important cultural goals for the company. Those goals focus on continuous education, financial accountability, exceptional guest experiences, open and honest communication and stronger franchisor/franchisee relationships. By nurturing and challenging the team, Banquil aims to elevate performance, increase sales, better execute promotions and foster a culture that contributes to the company’s overall success, the company said.

“We teach our management teams about the ‘7 P’s of Leadership,’ and I believe these are key attributes of successful leaders in this day and age,” Banquil said. “The 7 P’s we preach are: Passion, persistence, patience, people, pressure, performance and purpose.”

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As fun and satisfying as my career has been, I’m a family man at heart. As odd as it sounds, my role as Owner, President, and CEO has given me more time to spend with my family, watching my boys play football, soccer, and lacrosse regularly. This is something I was never able to do when they were younger and nothing feels better than being there for them.

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