Burger King franchisee owner gives $120K in bonuses to employees

An owner of two dozen Burger King franchises in Arizona was serving up more than fries to his employees this week.

He gave up his big bonus and awarded it to his store managers instead.

The employees we spoke with were just excited the management company was named franchisee of the year, so to find out they got a cash bonus, which for some of them was thousands of dollars, left them speechless.

Fernando Enriquez is the general manager of the Burger King located at 75th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road. He says he was thrilled when Burger King named Phoenix-based Barnett Management Company national franchisee of the year.

"It was a great honor and we were excited to be the top team in the country," he said.

"We were voted that based on our company standards, our corporate inspections and our excellent guest service records we have," added Charity Callahan, a restaurant manager that's worked there for 15 years.

As a prize, the owner and CEO, Tom Barnett, was given a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette and a Rolex watch.

"He's very humble, very nice, very kind man. He'll come in to the restaurants, go back in to the kitchen, shake hands, talk to every one of the staff members here," said Callahan.

But instead of keeping the prizes, Barnett sold them, dividing the $120,000 between managers at his stores in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Florence and Wickenburg, as bonuses for their hard work.

"We were so in disbelief when we left the meeting. Everyone was like, wow! I still didn't know the amount when I got home. I opened it.. I was like wow! Total surprise," said Enriquez.

The bonuses ranged from $100 to $5,000. Enriquez says he was able to pay off his car, pay his children's school fees and more.

"My mom had surgery during that time, so I was able to send her some money too," he said.

"Yes, we felt very grateful, appreciated, valued, definitely wants to make you want to get up the next morning and come to work again," said Callahan.

"It is special because we as managers.. we know there's good people on top.. we'll almost do anything for them and we are and that's why we ended up on top this year and for sure, we want to end up on top next year," said Enriquez.

Barnett Management owns 24 restaurants in the Phoenix area, Flagstaff, Florence and Wickenburg.