Charley Shin develops the people at Charleys Philly Steaks, Bibibop

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print

Unlike Charleys, Bibibop is corporate owned with 361 active employees, but it still has the same vision — honor God, strengthen your neighbors, and build a successful business by taking care of your employees and making your customers happy.
The Korean-inspired restaurant, which first opened three years ago, is focused on well-being with fresh food that once again, appeals to young, educated millennials. Everything is very health driven — the restaurants don’t even have a fryer — but still reasonably priced.
“We knew we could carry our vision and mission a lot better with corporate models,” Shin says.
In order to make sure the employees have the same loyalty and satisfaction as their franchisees, Bibibop has worked to retain its employees and promote from within as the company spends a lot of time on the leadership development of its store managers.
“We have a lot of employees who started with us on day one in the first store,” he says.
“When they see their peers becoming assistant managers and general managers of new stores, they really do believe there is a hope and they just need to work hard and they will get the opportunities,” Shin says. “We have really good camaraderie and culture, and that’s what I’m really, really proud of.”


  • Don’t chase the money. Profit is a byproduct of doing things right.
  • Take care of your employees and customers first.
  • Be ready to learn, while still sticking to your convictions.


The Shin File:

Name: Charley Shin
Title: Founder and CEO
Company: Charleys Philly Steaks and Bibibop
Born: Seoul, South Korea
Education: Business degree, The Ohio State University
What’s a business book you’ve recently read that you’d recommend to others? I’ve read John Maxwell’s leadership books. They really help business people because it’s not just about business; they help you lead better with what you need to do and how you need to think.
Another one was ‘It’s Not About the Coffee: Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks’ by Howard Behar. It discusses how a leader’s role is to remove obstacles and provide tools while giving respect.
If you could provide advice to your younger self, what would it be? I would focus less on financials and focus more on people. I made some mistakes by chasing money and brought some grief to myself. I vowed not to make the same mistakes again.
What do you like to do when you’re not working? When the kids were young, I loved spending time with them, but they are both grown now and in college. I still try to do that, but they have busy lives or are preoccupied with other things.
I spend a lot of time with my wife, and I do a lot of work with the nonprofit that we have. I like to help people as much as I can.
What’s the one food you could eat every day? I’m in the right industry because I love food. Typically I like Korean food the most, because that’s what I grew up on, and that’s what my wife and mother make most of the time.
But I love Charleys. If I had any kind of sandwich, I’d rather it be a Charleys sandwich. I like sandwiches and I like Korean food.