Travis Mason is DRG’s Director of Operations for the Kansas City market, which includes nearly 70 restaurants to date and is slated to grow to 100 by 2025.
Travis joined DRG in April 2018 after following someone he admired in the industry over to Taco Bell. He initially got his career start with a small mom and pop franchise that boasted 36 restaurants but noticed there was little opportunity to grow professionally.
“It was a scenario where you pretty much had to wait for someone to retire before you could get an opportunity to advance,” he says of his former employment.“Moving into a bigger company that’s constantly growing, the advancement opportunities that are available… continue to grow.”
For Travis, more aggressive growth is exciting. Reflecting back on his own professional development, he admits he didn’t realize there was actually a career path in the quick service industry. He thought his first job as a team member was a“stepping stone,” not a launch pad! That’s something he feels is worth sharing with the next generation.
“You can be very successful, and be able to provide for your family,” he says.“…it’s not just a job, it’s a career. And you can go as far as you want to go in this industry.”
Travis has been continuously moving up the ladder since he joined DRG. He started as an Area Coach in the San Jose market, where he ran seven restaurants. Shortly after,he was reassigned a little closer to home. He was eventually promoted to Senior Area Coach and then his current position as the Kansas City Director of Operations.
He appreciates the energy in his current market — the opportunity for growth, the people, the excitement behind DRG’s newest sports-themed cantina in Westport, which just opened in April.
“One thing I really love here in Kansas City is that there are no barriers,” Travis shares.“Everybody works with eachother. It’s all Kansas City and we’re all aligned… we’re all moving in the same direction, at the same pace, which is refreshing, because alot of times in organizations there’s big divide.”
According to Travis, at DRG, it’s not about the tacos, it’s really about the people. He says the company is genuine in its care for people, referencing the DRG Cares employee assistance program, which helps families facing tough times; employee incentive programs; career development training; and Taco Bell’s Live Más Scholarship program.
As a leader, Travis is also focused on the people. He says helping others achieve their goals is one of the most rewarding aspects of his job. He looks for potential in people that they might not see in themselves.
When asked where he’d like to be professionally in five years, Travis has his hopes set on becoming the Vice President of Operations for the Kansas City market. Seems like he’s on his way!