On Air

Restaurant Incubator Program

  • The Restaurant Brokers talk to Phil Romano about Restaurant Incubators!
  • The Restaurant Brokers see whats cooking in Restaurant Incubator Programs!
  • Restaurant Reality: The Reality about Restaurant Incubators!

Are you looking to franchise your company overseas? How do you know when you are ready? What are the challenges of international expansion versus domestic expansion and where can you get help? This week, the restaurant brokers along with CEO of Buffalo's Cafe and CEO of YoBlendz and JuiceBlendz tackle international franchising.

Industry Guests Join the Restaurant Brokers

Phil Romano
Phil Romano
Philip J. Romano is an investor, entrepreneur, artist and nationally renowned restaurateur. He created six national restaurant concepts - Fuddruckers, Romanos Macaroni Grill, Spageddies, Cozymels, Rudys Country Store and BBQ and eatZis Market and Bakery that have generated more than $20 billion in revenue. Nations Restaurant News named Mr. Romano as one of the top 20 restaurateurs in the year 2000. Nations Restaurant News also awarded Mr. Romano the 1995 Innovator of the Year award. They also awarded him the Foodservice Consultants Society International Trend Setter Award. Advertising Ages Marketing 100 for 1997 named Mr. Romano one of the top 100 innovative and inspiring marketers who have most successfully established or repositioned a brand. Sullivan College, a national center for hospitality studies, honored Mr. Romano with the 1998 Great American Restaurateur Award. Romano received the Industry Leader of the Year Tastemaker Award by the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association in 2002 and the Civic/Community Service Tastemaker Award for his work with Hunger Busters in 2001. In 2003, the University of North Texas awarded Romano the North Texas Humanitarian Award, which recognizes community leaders who embody a public spirit to better the community and whose selfless acts inspire students. Romano celebrates his Italian heritage often. He was honored by the Italian Heritage Society in 2003 with the Christopher Columbus Outstanding Italian American Achievement Award which is a tribute to distinguished individuals. In 2004, the American Immigration Law Foundation awarded Philip the American Heritage Award for his outstanding contributions to Americas heritage as a nation of immigrants. In April 2006, Romano was inducted into the Dallas Business Hall of Fame and in 2009 he was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. In March 2012, Mr. Romano also received the AJC Dallas Human Relations Award which is presented to community leaders who have made a significant contribution to the betterment of life on local and national levels. Romano currently owns and operates the following restaurant concepts eatZis Market and Bakery, Nick & Sams Steak & Fish House, Nick & Sams Grill and Coal Vines Pizza. His creativity expands beyond restaurants to art. Romano began painting 30 years ago and he has sold over $1 million of his own artwork. He partnered with Reflectionist Movement Artist JD Miller of Dallas, opening Samuel Lynne Galleries. The Gallery features both Romano and Miller works and an ever expanding list of additional artists, focusing on art of the 21st Century. Romano and his family established a charitable foundation, The Food Foundation, which operates as Hunger Busters. This 501(c) (3) organization provides food to the hungry and serves over 150,000 hungry schoolchildren in Dallas. He also serves on the Board of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. A native of New York state, he presently resides in Dallas, Texas.
  • Phone
  • emurphy@trinitygroves.com Email
  • www.trinitygroves.com Website
  • Trinity Groves Trinity Groves
Michelle Fernandez
Michelle Fernandez
When Michelle was growing up, she wanted to be a writer, a Supreme Court Justice, or a Professional Chocolate Chip Cookie Taster. A few years later, she was on her way to realize these dreams at Amherst College, where she studied Spanish and the History of War. Following graduation, she researched International Crime in the Executive Branch with a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. One late night, while browsing archives and eating her 3rd chocolate chip cookie of the night, she realized her passion lay with food. A few weeks later, she was traveling in the Middle East and Asia with her sister and taking cooking lessons from anyone who would teach her. After 6 months abroad, she returned to the States and worked as a line cook in central Floridas only organic, locally sourced restaurant. A few burns and shortened thumbs later, she tried a number of odd jobs from teaching English to Spanish speaking immigrants, to organizing for the 2012 Obama campaign, to working as a program evaluator and sometime surf instructor at the Valpo Surf Project in Valparaiso, Chile. After moving to the Bay Area, Michelle was fortunate to start as an intern at La Cocina before becoming Operations Assistant, then Events and Marketing Coordinator, and now Communications and Development Associate. Michelle is responsible for handling sponsorship at the SF Street Food Festival, managing press relations, and finding people as passionate about food entrepreneurs as the folks at La Cocina. Shes thrilled to have found a job she loves and the surplus of pupusas around the office. Favorite foods sushi, choripan, her moms arroz con pollo, and of course, chocolate chip cookies.
  • 415-658-9205 Phone
  • michelle@lacocinasf.org Email
  • Lacocinasf.org Website
  • La Cocina La Cocina