Trustee Ed Doherty wins national business award

Doherty Enterprises named Applebee's "Franchisee of the Year" for the third time.


Elon University trustee Ed Doherty, and Doherty Enterprises Inc., have received the 2011 “Franchisee of the Year” award from Applebee’s Services Inc. The award honors outstanding leadership, commitment and passion for the brand. Doherty Enterprises, which owns and operates 61 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurants in New Jersey and Long Island, is the sole three-time recipient of this distinction.

In presenting the award, Mike Archer, Applebee’s president, explained what sets the Doherty group apart: “This franchisee is a testament to how strong an organizational culture can be when the top priority for its leader is developing a strong, vibrant brand culture. His team lives its culture, breathes its culture and believes its culture.”

Archer also touted Doherty’s commitment to its neighbors, “in the past twelve months, his company has raised more than $1.2 million for charities and community organizations. They support a range of causes—a 9/11 Memorial Bike Run, the American Cancer Society, and the U.S. Marine Corps “Toys for Tots.”

The company was also recognized nationally in 2006 and 2008 as “Applebee’s Neighbor of the Year”, based on its community support and involvement in the neighborhoods in which it operates.

According to Doherty, his vision is to be the “best food service company in the tri-state area” and the mission of each of his restaurants is to “wow every guest every time, wow our people, wow our communities and wow our suppliers.” Between its Long Island and New Jersey restaurants, the group employs 6,600.

Doherty was recently profiled in a magazine article produced by Click here to read the article.

Ed Doherty and his wife Joan, of Saddle River, N.J., are parents of Kerry Doherty, a 2007 Elon alumna. Ed and Joan Doherty served on Elon’s Parents Council and Ed joined the board of trustees in 2006.

In 2007, the Dohertys made a $1 million gift to endow The Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in Elon’s Martha and Spencer Love School of Business. The Doherty Center has dedicated space on the third floor of Elon’s Ernest A. Koury Sr. Business Center for the development of business plans, business-related functions such as accounting and inventory storage. The Doherty Center supports scholarships for students, an endowed professorship for entrepreneurial leadership, an annual endowed Entrepreneur-of-the-Year lecture, and programming. Find out more on the Doherty Center website.

Doherty Enterprises, Inc., is one of the nation’s leading franchise operators of quality family restaurants, including Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Panera Bread and Chevy’s Fresh Mex.