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Local Bojangles’ wins second place honors

The crew at Bojangles’ in Jonesborough know Randy Mexin, their unit director, is serious about making their Bojangles’ the best.
After all, they’ve seen him in action during the franchise’s annual evaluation and awards.
“I act a little crazy during ShowBo time,” Mexin admits.
Now they’re convinced of all that a little craziness can accomplish, after watching Mexin bring home a second place trophy in this year’s “ShowBo Awards.”
According to Mexin, that’s no small accomplishment. The competition involves 375 restaurants and a strict criteria for judging that includes everything from gum on the parking lot to the freshness of the biscuits.
“It’s pretty much a secret shopper-type evaluation by people from the corporate office,” Mexin said. “And it’s really meticulous. They judge you on everything.”
Restaurants are checked for cleanliness, the taste of the food and the quality of the service.
Out of 375 restaurants, 150 are selected. Then that 150 is broken down to 32.
The top 32 gathered in Savannah, Georgia, this year for the finals. There, Bojangles’ officials announced the top 10. The top 10 is then narrowed to the prize-winning top three.
“Everyone in the top 10 gets a ShowBo ring,” Mexin said, showing off his ring studded with small rubies. “If you’re in the top 10 again, they’ll replace the rubies with diamonds.”
Mexin said he was not surprised to be listed in the top 10 because the Bojangles’ representatives had already asked for his ring size. But he had no idea where he fell among those top 10 contestants.
“They got all the top 10 people on the stage and you didn’t really know your standing,” Mexin recalled. “They started calling names and, honestly, I thought I was going to be in 10th place.
“The woman said ‘This is this young man’s first time in being a part of the top 10. Please give a round of applause. . .’ and I actually stood up.”
Mexin said he quickly sat back down when another name was announced.
“After about the fifth name, my heart started beating out of my chest,” he said. “I didn’t think in a million years little Jonesborough had gotten in the top three.
“My heart is just racing. They called out another name and then said, ‘Please congratulate the top three stores.’”
Mexin now knew “little Jonesborough” had made it to the top three.
For his second place finish, he was awarded a check for $7,500. First place received a check for $10,000, while third place received $5,000.
Though the check was made out to Mexin, he elected to share the winnings with his crew.
“I made a deal with them before the competition even started that I was going to split it with everybody,” Mexin said. “They deserve it. They worked hard every day.”
“We have built a family environment. I think that’s something we’ve really strived for,” he added. “They all get along together. We go out of our way to help each other.”
The recent honor was not something he had expected when he moved from Colorado to Tennessee to be near family in Greeneville, said the Illinois-born Mexin.
“My grandparents live here and that’s kind of what brought me back,” Mexin said. “They’re getting older. They don’t have any family besides me.”
Still, Mexin said, he knew there was something about the company as soon as he was hired.
“I’ve worked for a lot of people,” Mexin said of the Jonesborough franchise. “These are the best I’ve seen.”
And the company itself, he said, seems to be headed in the right direction, with a strong appreciation for those representing it.
“They seem to really be a great brand,” Mexin said. “I’m really happy I’ve gotten to be part of it.”