Since purchasing downtown Asheville’s iconic restaurant, Tupelo Honey Cafe, in 2008, Frabitore has directed all restaurant operations, including sales and marketing, public relations and advertising, budgeting, purchasing and inventory control and management. In 2010, he opened a second location in south Asheville, followed by the opening of Knoxville’s 1 Market Square store in October 2012 and Greenville, SC,’s location at The One in June 2013 along with restaurants in Chattanooga and Charlotte that same year. In 2014, he opened locations in Johnson City and Raleigh. The restaurant is expected to open five more locations in 2015 including Myrtle Beach, Arlington and Virginia Beach along with Atlanta.
Under Frabitore’s leadership, the restaurants have been successfully integrated with state-of-the-art recipe mapping programs and a POS system delivering actionable information with ease of use and expandability. His systems have ensured management’s complete understanding of food cost and menu pricing to create an outstanding customer experience.
Frabitore’s leadership has resulted in key metrics that place both restaurants above the top quartile of all restaurants in a similar check average according to the 2010 NRA restaurant Operations Report. Robust sales gains, reductions in food costs and efficient deployment in labor have led to industry leading net profits for the company and substantial infrastructure investments.
Prior to his role as president of Tupelo Honey Cafe, Frabitore’s extensive 16 year career in consumer products companies like Procter & Gamble, Tambrands and Empire Berol led to his being named Vice President of Sales for Rexall Sundown, Inc., in Boca Raton, FL, and eventually to the position of President, Sundown Vitamins, a division of Rexall Sundown. In this capacity, Frabitore directed performance, business and organizational development, as well as leadership for this $700 million division. With a consistent track record of increased revenues and operating income, Frabitore was an integral part of the sale of Rexall Sundown to Royal Numico, NV for $1.85 billion in 2000.
As an entrepreneur, Frabitore has a track record of results and success in companies as diverse as yacht building to outdoor power equipment. In his most recent acquisition, Frabitore purchased a small independent OPE dealership and drove revenue up six fold in four years. He also opened a second location and was recognized as one of the top dealers in the Southeast. Frabitore is married to his college sweetheart, has four boys and is proud to have graduated Florida State University where he also caught trapeze and walked the seven man pyramid on the high wire in the Flying High Circus.
Frabitore was named North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging’s Restaurateur of the Year in 2012 and the Asheville Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Owner of the Year in 2013. He is past president of Asheville’s Independent Restaurant Association and sits on the boards of the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging as well as the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority.
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Tupelo Honey Cafe