At age 8, Dean started working in his father’s grocery stores. After graduating from Washington State University in 1983, he accepted a position in retail food service with Marriott, managing all levels of retail food. During his career, he worked with Taco Bell, Subway, Arby’s, A&W, Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Godfather’s Pizza, Winchell’s Donuts, Starbucks, and Seattle’s Best Coffee, in addition to developing several unbranded concepts.
In 1996, Dean accepted a position with West Star as a Director of Retail Food Service and was promoted to V.P. in 2002. Dean supervised thirty Shell branded convenience stores and 20 restaurants (including 12 stand alone Subway locations), under owner Hank Armour(two-time Chairman of the National Association of Convenience Stores and current CEO of NACS). In 2004, Dean accepted the Senior Category Manager position (overseeing all categories, including food service) with Balmar Petroleum, owned by Richard Oneslager (current Chairman of NACS). Dean has served on many NACS committees and the advisory boards for Kraft, Sara Lee, and Boyd Coffee Company, to name a few.
What separates Dean from other food service consultants is his broad base knowledge and hands-on experience in all facets of the convenience store business. While food service is his expertise, his involvement in c-store operations and category management has given him a unique perspective to the interaction of all elements needed to drive success.
Dean is the founder and CEO of Dean Dirks Associates.