George McKerrow Jr.

president and CEO, Ted’s Montana Grill

George McKerrow Jr.

George McKerrow Jr.

George McKerrow Jr.’s success in the restaurant industry spans 40 years, and his legacy is most apparent in Atlanta in the popular Ted’s Montana Grill locations. Nation’s Restaurant News has called him a “dinner-house legend” and credits him with giving “birth to an entire casual-dining segment” more than 20 years ago when he founded LongHorn Steakhouse Inc. McKerrow partnered with media entrepreneur, philanthropist and environmentalist Ted Turner in 2002 to create Ted’s Montana Grill, a classic American grill serving made-from-scratch dishes in an eco-friendly environment. The Atlanta-based company has 54 locations in 19 states, a marker of the significant growth in the casual dining segment since McKerrow opened the first LongHorn Steakhouse in 1981. Atlanta had few choices for that type of meal at a neighborhood restaurant, and through McKerrow’s vision and leadership the first Longhorn Steakhouse evolved into RARE Hospitality International, which also owned The Capital Grille. McKerrow retired from RARE Hospitality in 2000 and it was sold to Darden Restaurants in 2002. McKerrow co-founded We’re Cookin’ Inc. with chef Gerry Klaskala and former LongHorn chief financial officer Ron San Martin, and that group helped create two fine dining restaurants in Atlanta, Aria and Canoe. McKerrow has also served on the boards of the National Restaurant Association and Culinary Institute of America. He received the first lifetime achievement award from the Georgia Restaurant Association in 2007, and was inducted into the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2008. McKerrow has served on the Industry Board of Robinson’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration, which is a group of national and international leaders in the hospitality industry who serve as guest lecturers, mentors and support for major academic projects. McKerrow holds a bachelor of science in political science from the Ohio State University.