George McKerrow is the co-founder and CEO of Ted’s Montana Grill, based in Atlanta, where he oversees the direction of the 39-location restaurant concept with operations in 16 states.
A 50-year veteran of the restaurant business with a history of success in both fine dining and casual restaurants, McKerrow has been called a “dinner-house legend” by Nation’s Restaurant News, which credits the restaurateur with “giving birth to an entire casual-dining segment” more than 30 years ago when he founded LongHorn Steakhouse.
McKerrow first discovered his passion for the hospitality industry when he entered the restaurant business as a teenager. After graduating from Ohio State University with a B.S. in political science, he served as owner/operator of Log Cabin Supper Club in West Virginia. George continued his career in foodservice when he joined Victoria’s Station in 1974 and rose through the ranks to ultimately become a regional manager when he left the company in 1980.
He opened the first LongHorn Steakhouse as a neighborhood restaurant in Atlanta in 1981 – at a time when Atlanta had few choices in casual dining. He and his team successfully evolved one location into RARE Hospitality International (RARE), which owned LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille and Bugaboo Creek. McKerrow retired from RARE in 2001 before the company was sold to Darden Restaurants in 2007.
In 1994, the noted restaurant entrepreneur co-founded We’re Cookin’ Inc. with acclaimed Atlanta chef Gerry Klaskala and businessman Ron San Martin. The restaurant group today has two award-winning, fine dining restaurants in Atlanta: Aria and Canoe.
George, along with his partner, media entrepreneur, philanthropist and environmentalist Ted Turner, founded Ted’s Montana Grill in January 2002, and he currently serves as chief executive officer of the restaurant company. Ted’s Montana Grill is a classic American grill serving Authentic American Food in an eco-friendly environment which specializes in bison, burgers, hand-cut steaks and from-scratch classics.