Winging it

Thomas “Michael” Ansley was in his
mid-20s when he and a friend decided to
open a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise. The
only problem was, with no restaurant
experience, they were unable to get

They forged ahead anyway, securing
funding from their families and opened the
first Michigan BWW franchise in 1996. With
slow market acceptance and two years of
losses, Ansley learned a lot about running a
business, sold his interest to his partner
and began his own company in 1999.

Today, as chairman, president and CEO
of Diversified Restaurant Holdings Inc. and
AMC Group Inc., those days of struggling
are behind him. His restaurant management company operates 12 Buffalo Wild
Wing locations and one Bagger Dave’s
Legendary Burgers & Fries, a concept he
developed. He continues to tailor his
approach to each store according to demographics, location, trends and guest patterns, and he was the first owner to offer
full service when the chain was primarily
operating under a carryout or self-service model. Many of his loyal customers
who had been dining with him since college now had kids in tow, and he
responded by providing full service and
separating the dining area and the bar at
his Novi location, shooting the store to
top sales the first year.

Ansley was named 2007 Franchisee of
the Year by the International Franchise
Association, and there’s no end in sight
to his success. Over the next eight years,
he plans to open 19 new BWW stores and
as many as 25 new Bagger Dave’s locations.

HOW TO REACH: Diversified Restaurant Holdings Inc. and
AMC Group Inc., (248) 223-9160