GREENVILLE — The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) has elected Biscuitville FRESH SOUTHERN Executive Chair Burney Jennings to serve as board chair for the 2023 term.
Jennings has grown up being a part of the almost sixty-year-old family business. Jennings’ father, Maurice, opened what was Pizzaville in 1967. The restaurant soon began selling biscuits through breakfast hours, becoming one of the most popular items on the menu. In 1975, the first Biscuitville opened in Danville, VA. Shortly after, Pizzaville became Biscuitville, beginning the legendary family business.
“We’ve now grown the chain to 71 restaurants; we opened one in Greenville two days ago [Feb. 8] and it has been one of our best and busiest openings ever,” Jennings said. “I love biscuits, I love breakfast, we are different from a typical quick service restaurant.”
Biscuitville’s menu offers southern classics with traditional breakfast biscuits such as sausage, bacon, egg, and cheese, as well as chicken or spicy chicken honey biscuits which feature local North Carolina honey drizzled on top.
“We’re about fresh and friendly, it’s different,” Jennings said. “It starts with the type of ingredients — we are buying the higher quality ingredient than a typical quick service restaurant.”
Kathie Niven, president & CEO of Biscuitville as of 2020, helped expand the business, which now employs over 1,750 people. Jennings was made executive chair for the business the same year, keeping business in the family.
“This is one industry where you can start at the bottom and really work your way up to be the owner of a business or start your own business just from what you learned,” Jennings said. “That can be really difficult to do in other industries. Many people here start at a low level position and just work their way up.”
Jennings has been an active NCRLA board member since 2017 and will serve as chair representing his industry across the state. The NCRLA’s mission is to serve their members by advancing and protecting North Carolina’s hospitality industry.
“I think it’s an honor to be elected to that, and as chair, you have to represent all of the restaurants and hotels in North Carolina,” Jennings said.
Jennings has initiatives prioritized for 2023, beginning with bringing back employees post COVID-19.
“The hospitality industry as a whole has still not recovered from COVID, when you go out to restaurants they look busy or slammed, when you go to hotels you hear that tourism is back, the problem is, we are all still suffering from the effects of COVID and people leaving our industry,” Jennings said.
NCRLA supports a healthy hospitality industry, a stride towards a stronger North Carolina economy. The association is impacting legislation and policies to assist restaurants and hotels around the state.
“We are all trying to recruit new people to come into our industry and that is one of our biggest initiatives,” Jennings said. “The association helps to recruit for the hospitality industry to get people interested in coming back and telling them the benefits of doing so.”