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RH Regional Powerhouses
RH 25: Cameron Mitchell Restaurants Cameron Mitchell
The lobster cobb salad at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants’ Ocean Prime

2018 RH 25: Cameron Mitchell Restaurants

Finding good workers and keeping them

The 2018 class of Restaurant Hospitality's annual RH 25 looks at bold moves made by multiconcept operators — the companies that are crossing segments, shifting operations, building big or pivoting in some way. There is no ranking. These are companies to watch. See all concepts >>

HQ: Columbus, Ohio

Leadership: Cameron Mitchell, founder and CEO; David Miller, president and COO/operating partner; Diane Smullen, CFO

Systemwide sales FY2017: $300 million


Concepts: 32 restaurants under 15 concepts, including Cameron’s American Bistro, Guildhouse, Marcella’s, The Avenue, Harvey & Ed’s and the Ocean Prime brand. CMR is building Columbus’ first modern food hall in an old dairy building, set to open 2019

At a time when finding and keeping workers is a top challenge, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants boasts some impressive numbers: A management turnover rate of 5.4 percent, compared with the 50 percent industry average. The company’s hourly turnover is 42 percent, versus 100 percent industrywide, and 80 percent of hires are promoted from within.

How do they do it? By closing for holidays, offering flexible, family-positive scheduling, generous personal time off, and extending benefits like a 401(k), as well as giving workers a path for moving up within the organization.

“Our culture is not a strategy or tactic — it is part of CMR’s DNA,” said Mitchell.

Next: Front Burner Restaurants L.P.

Previous: Tao Group

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