Outback

Topics: Outback Steakhouse, Outback, KISS principle Pages: 7 (1598 words) Published: October 8, 2014
Tim Stanton, a former managing partner of an Outback Steakhouse in Knoxville, TN, who recently assumed the new position of joint-venture partner, and who will now be overseeing 12 restaurants located between Huntington, WV, and Pittsburgh, is profiled as part of Nation's Restaurant News' NRN 50 General Managers Orchestrating Success feature. Throughout his years at the Knoxville property, Stanton increased sales by a whopping 133% to $4.3 million dollars. While Stanton rewards his employees financially, he also is keen on showering them with the respect they deserve. He notes that one of the most blissful aspects of his job is to watch his staff evolve, slowly working their way through the ranks of the restaurant world.

Joint-venture partner raises the stakes, ropes in customers, lassoes $4.3 million in sales

Since 1995 Tim Stanton has spent much of his time at the bustling Outback Steakhouse in Knoxville, Tenn. He has watched sales grow, led a staff that is alert and happy and enjoyed the unwavering support of his family. Now things are about to get even better.

View Image - Stanton, who recently was made joint-venture partner, soon will oversee 12 restaurant locations as well as four more that still are under construction.

This month Stanton assumed the new position of joint-venture partner. Instead of overseeing one Outback in Tennessee, the 43-year-old now will watch over 12 restaurants located between Huntington, W.Va., and Pittsburgh, as well as four that are under construction.

"This is it," Stanton says. "This is my best tour of duty. All the rest were stepping stones."

At Outback those with generalmanagerial responsibilities are not known as general managers. Instead, they are called managing partners and have partial ownership of their restaurants. As a result, managing partners have a personal stake in the success of their operations.

For Stanton, who served as managing partner of the Knoxville restaurant for nine years, it was that vested interest that motivated him to generate sales aggressively.

"It's an ownership," Stanton says. "I made a commitment to generate sales. Without sales, there are no profits. Without profits, there is no business. It's the perfect triangle. Ten percent of the bottom line is profit."

Stanton honored his commitment. His first year in Knoxville, sales were $3.2 million. Throughout his years at the property, he increased sales by a whopping 133 percent to $4.3 million dollars.

Colleagues are in awe of the accomplishment.

"He took a store that was in a good place and increased sales," says Sheri Montez, who worked alongside Stanton in Knoxville, helping to manage the front-of-the-house as well as tend bar. "His bosses weren't seeing those results in other stores, and so they said, 'Maybe you can show us how to do it.' "

As a joint-venture partner, Stanton will work hand in hand with managing partners, guiding them through operational challenges and keeping Outback's mission fresh and alive. His new home base will be Pittsburgh, and his hours, often 70 to 75 hours weekly while he is in Knoxville, are likely to get longer.

"You gotta do what you gotta do," he says of his managing-partner days. "If I needed to be in early, I came in early. If I needed to work late, I worked late."

In Knoxville, Stanton managed a staff of 70, with more men in the kitchen and more women in the front-of-the-house. As joint-venture partner, Stanton will oversee 840 people, and that number is likely to grow because building the Outback brand within his new territory will be one of his mandates.

But Joe Ruberto doesn't foresee any problems. Stanton's supervisor for a year and a half, Ruberto is a Nashville, Tenn.-based joint-venture partner who worked directly above Stanton and now shares similar responsibilities for a different regional market.

"He's incredibly driven and extremely motivated," Ruberto says of Stanton. "He's detail-oriented and...
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