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Ed Heskett has been our Loss Prevention Manager since May 2012, but to many, he’s “Mr. Ed” and so much more. As Ed prepares for retirement and handing the reigns over to Area Coach Logan Alderson, he remains revered for being a wonderful listener, friend and conversationalist, and a humble and trustworthy leader.

“Ed is what I like to call a Border Foods soldier,’” company President Aaron Engler says. “He’s part of the family and our culture.”

“He treats everyone like an extension of his family,” shares Brian Davies, VP of Facilities.

“Border Foods is a special place to be.” -Ed Heskett, Retiring Loss Prevention Manager

Throughout the many years and variety of roles Ed has taken on at Border Foods, he’s always been a role model of Border Foods’ core values. In fact, it’s hard to pin just one value to him. Chief People Officer Sharla Hennek says Ed represents integrity, accountability and excellence, and “always does what he says he will do.”

“Ed shows the utmost integrity in our restaurants and the office,” Brian says.

What’s Ed’s perspective? “It really starts with family, not accountability,” he says. “You can’t have family without teamwork, accountability, integrity … that’s always been where I start.” 


Ed’s career in foodservice began in 1973 when he was a bus boy and dish washer for an iconic burger chain. He went on to secure Above Restaurant Leader (ARL) positions, including franchise consultant there, then, at Wendy’s, Taco Bell Corporate, Boston Market and finally Border Foods.

He first joined our beloved brand in 1986, when he was hired by Taco Bell Corporate as a District Manager, overseeing six restaurants in Detroit, MI. Eventually the role expanded, giving him responsibility over 14 locations, and then there was talk of taking on 30! Ed claims he “wasn’t qualified” to oversee 30 Taco Bells and in 1991, his position was eliminated.

Approached next by Wendy’s, for whom he had previous ARL experience, he returned as a District Manager and later Director of Operations for the brand. Following his time with Wendy’s, Ed transitioned over to Boston Market first as a District Manager, then Regional Director of Operations, which took Ed and his family to Minneapolis. He says this was a turbulent period in his career as Boston Market eventually fell into bankruptcy. In March 1999, Ed was let go: “You can’t be a Regional Director of Operations without restaurants,” he says.

Boston Market’s COO implored him not to settle, saying something like, “Don’t do something that you’ve done before … find a new brand. Minneapolis is a mecca for new brands.” Then, a local recruiter mentioned Border Foods. 


Ed’s first interview with our company was with HR and the late Carol Williams.

“I absolutely fell in love with Carol’s vision,” he says fondly. Co-founder Lee Engler remembers it similarly: “Ed was eager to be part of the newly formed Border team, led by Carol.”

After another round of interviews, Border Foods surprisingly, rejected him. A few days later, company personnel changed their mind and invited him back! Ed became the first above -restaurant leader hired from outside Border Foods. On realistic job preview day, he remembers walking into a Taco Bell that was short-handed and jumping into action. By the time the Senior District Manager arrived, Ed was already running the register.

“It was like I’d never left!” Ed quips. Current Senior Safety & Risk Manager Juli Sargent (also a Senior District Manager at the time) became his first supervisor. Fast forwarding through the years, Ed went on to serve as a District Manager, Area Coach and Area Manager (now called Region Coach) before assuming the role he’s preparing to depart.

“I made a career out of Border Foods by saying ‘yes.’” -Famous words by Ed Heskett

After many years in restaurant operations and management, Carol approached him about loss prevention in early 2012. 

”Ed had great knowledge of the systems and tools used in the restaurants, so it was easy for him to know where to look for losses, develop solutions to issues and mitigate risk,” says Sharla of Ed’s qualifications.


Loss prevention quickly became Ed’s passion. He says there were a few years when he was asked to split time between Border Foods and Delagat, being intimately involved in developing Delagat’s Guard and Detect loss prevention tools. But once he returned to Border Foods full time, Ed built Border Foods’ Loss Prevention Department from the ground up, his greatest contribution to the company. Lee says he’s the best in the business!

“Our loss metrics are among the best in the Taco Bell System,” Ed shares. A sampling of Ed’s incredible work: 

  • He developed a process to certify our managers to be loss prevention auditors (at time of print, includes 20);
  • Every single restaurant received an audit in 2023;
  • According to him, 800 people have taken loss prevention classes since 2018; and
  • Armored car safes — which could save “hundreds of thousands of dollars in time and loss” — are being deployed for every location, a Border Foods standard.


It’s difficult to summarize such an extensive career. Mr. Ed celebrates 50 years in the industry and 25 fulfilling years with our company on June 2nd. He’s had such a big impact on our people and the security of our operations

“You feel safer knowing Ed is there for you whether it’s loss prevention or anything you need,” Brian says.

Ed says he’s grateful for the leadership and friendship of many; he’ll miss the people and relationships the most. Frequent travel to restaurants companywide has afforded him the opportunity to interact with teams all across the country.

“I’m proud to be one of the very few people in the company that everybody knows,” he says.

“I’m looking forward to retirement, not necessarily looking forward to not working,” he admits. His plans include plenty of reading, domestic travel, cycling, boating, fishing, volunteering and chasing around his 15 grandchildren. Sounds like Ed will be busier than the Taco Bell lunch rush!