Author: Ashley Charest
Published: Tuesday, 23 Feb 2021
Scott’s vast knowledge of restaurant ownership and operations has made him a sought-out professional in the industry. In Kansas, he sits on the board of the Kansas State University Hospitality Management program, the Sedgwick County Zoo Board, Wichita State University Innovation Alliance Campus Board and the Butler Community College Hospitality Board. He was named a McConnell Air Force Base Honorary Commander and served as Chairman and long-time board member for the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association. Known for his philanthropy, he has served on the boards of and continues to support the Wichita Children’s Home, Senior Services, and he and his wife Betsy started a scholarship fund for Hospitality students at Butler Community College. He is currently involved with Butler Community College and WSU Tech in helping develop a hospitality training center in south central Kansas.
Scott has received many awards over the years including the IFMA Silver Plate Award, the Fran Jabara Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, Kansas Restauranteur of the Year, University of Missouri Tornado Alley Distinguished Alumni, Wichita Business Journal 40 under 40 Inaugural Class, Wichita Business Journal Hall of Fame, and the Kansas Restaurant Association Hall of Fame.A restaurant operator to the core, Scott loves the sights, sounds and smells of a well-run restaurant. Growing up in St. Louis, he got his start in the restaurant business at age 15 catering events for groups of two to 6,000. Paying his way through college by managing a steakhouse, he attended the University of Missouri and earned a degree in restaurant and hotel management. Scott has managed and overseen everything from 5-star restaurants to corporate cafeterias in Wichita, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. He launched his first restaurant in St. Louis as a sole proprietor—a quick-service Chinese food concept called Shanghai Charlie’s. After selling that, he moved back to DC to serve as Executive Vice-President of The American Café group to assist with their expansion. Scott eventually moved to Wichita, KS, accepting the position of Executive Vice President of a local 18 location restaurant group. In 1997, Scott together with Bill Simon opened Timberline Steakhouse. In 2002, Scott again partnered with Bill Simon and his brother Randy to launch Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. After franchising in 2004, Freddy’s has grown to nearly 400 locations across the United States. Scott currently serves as Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer for Freddy’s.