Hu Odom

TITLE:

President and Founder of BOTH, Inc.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:

Set the goals and direction of the company and allocate the requisite resources.  Direct responsibility for real estate and legal.

WORK HISTORY:     

  • 1972 – 1985, McDonald’s and 7-Eleven Stores                

  • 1985 – 1992, District Manager Golden Corral Corp.

  • 1992 – Present, President of BOTH, Inc. dba Golden Corral

  • BA Degree, Political Science

HOMETOWN & FAMILY:

Currently resides in Virginia Beach, VA with wife, Evie.   Born in Mobile, AL to a military family.

PERSONAL SPOTLIGHT

1. WHAT 3 WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE WORKING AT BOTH, INC.?

  • Opportunity

  • Rewarding

  • Challenging

2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT WORKING AT BOTH, INC.?

  • Helping our people grow at work and at home

 

3. WHAT LED YOU TO A CAREER IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY?

  • Pure chance.  I started with McDonald’s in college to earn a little extra money.  My first job was the French fry station.  I was very surprised to stay with McDonald’s for seven years.

 

4. IN YOUR EXPERIENCE AT BOTH, INC. IS THERE A PROJECT THAT REALLY STANDS OUT AS YOUR FAVORITE OR MOST CHALLENGING?

  • My most satisfying project was starting Military Appreciation Night at BOTH, Inc. in 1999 (a first program of its kind and before 9/11) to honor our veterans and support the Disabled American Veterans.  BOTH, Inc. has since raised almost $2 million for the DAV and given away over 300,000 free meals to veterans.  MAN was picked up nationally by Golden Corral Corporation in 2003.

 

5. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE BOOK, MOVIE OR TV SHOW?

  • A favorite book of the last few years is “The Big Miss” by Hank Haney.  I am an avid golf fan and Haney gives you a rare insider’s look at the greatest golf of his generation – Tiger Woods.  For movies I like “Star Wars” – all of them.  As far as television I watch more news and Meet The Press/60 Minutes type shows than anything.

 

6. HAVE YOU BEEN ON A RECENT VACATION OR TRIP THAT YOU LOVED?

  • In 2013 Evie and I took 129 of our managers and spouses to London and Paris to celebrate BOTH, Inc.’s 20th Anniversary.  That trip took two years of hard work and planning – not to mention the cost.  It was very satisfying to take so many of our managers to these great cities that most of them would otherwise only see on television.

 

7. WHAT WORK RELATED QUESTION ARE YOU ASKED MOST FREQUENTLY?

  • That’s an easy one.  “What does BOTH, Inc. mean?”  Tom Borrows (now retired from our company but a true legend in Golden Corral since 1977) was the first person I asked to join our company as a partner.  Tom suggested the company name be an acronym of our first and last name.  Many people in our company now never met Tom – who resides near Anchorage, AK with his wife, Doreen, and owns the Golden Corral in Anchorage.  BOTH, Inc.’s highest management award is named for Tom – the Thomas D. Barrows Award.

 

8. HOW DO YOU THINK OUR GUESTS FEEL ABOUT THE GOLDEN CORRAL BRAND?

  • Great value and great variety.

 

9. IF YOU COULD SAY ONE THING TO ANYONE CONSIDERING EMPLOYMENT AT BOTH, INC., WHAT WOULD THAT BE?

  • The restaurant industry is one of the few places where an individual can have a great career without regard to education, family or wealth.  At BOTH, Inc. the only limit on your opportunity to grow is you.

 

10. WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

  • I love to travel (perhaps not a surprise) and I love live concerts (probably a surprise).  For example, Evie and I recently saw Madonna in concert in Hong Kong.

 

11. WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP DO YOU HAVE WITH PEOPLE AT OUR FRANCHISOR – GOLDEN CORRAL CORPORATION?

  • Golden Corral Corporation sometimes makes mistakes – as do we all – but they are a great franchisor.

  • First, GCC truly values their franchise community and will always listen and try to be fair.  

  • Second, GCC is not just in the business of selling franchises.  They operate a significant number of restaurants directly.  So they feel the good and bad of the concept – which is very important in my view.  

  • Third, the current CEO of GCC and I were District Managers together – so we have known each other a long time and can always speak frankly to each other.

 

12. IS THERE ONE WORD THAT DESCRIBES WHAT IT TAKES TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT BOTH, INC.?

  • Persistence.