Movers & Shakers is a new series by Chain Store Guide; spotlighting the people who have made an impact on the retail & foodservice industries. Each month, we will highlight their accomplishments and contributions.

Tilman J. Fertitta, Chairman, President and CEO of Landry’s Inc.

From a single restaurant in the Houston suburb of Katy, TX to a multibillion dollar empire including restaurants, hotels and casinos; there is no doubt that Tilman Fertitta has cut himself a slice of the American Dream. What Mr. Fertitta has created in Landry’s, Inc. is nearly unparalleled in the restaurant world, aptly giving him the title of ‘World’s Richest Restaurateur’ as dubbed by Forbes magazine.

It takes a single brick to start the construction of a skyscraper and here too is how our story begins; with one restaurant in Texas and a man with the vision to build something to marvel at. Mr. Fertitta started his empire as a partner in the very first Landry’s in 1980 and then helping open Willie G’s the following year. By 1986, Fertitta had acquired controlling interests in both brands.

In 1993, Fertitta took Landry’s public and became its CEO. At that time, the company was valued at $30 million. As the company went public, it expanded its brands significantly. In 2010, he acquired all outstanding stock of the company, went private, and he became the sole owner. By the following year, the company was valued at more than $1.7 billion.

What differentiates Fertitta from every other restaurateur and has led to such success? He is very much a “self-made man raised on hard work.” He speaks of peeling shrimp and working the fryers at his father’s seafood restaurant and how he was “born with entrepreneurial DNA.”

In reality, the tent pole of his success can be tied to how he goes about conducting business. He often buys restaurant chains that are facing bankruptcy, outdated or just overall struggling in some way and then breathes new life into them. He fires top executives, closes locations that are under-performing and then assesses how to bring back their former shine.

If we assess the chart below containing Chain Store Guide’s historical data for Landry’s; we can see the massive growth the company has experienced even as recently as this year. In the months of September and October it was announced that Landry’s would acquire Del Frisco’s Grille and Double Eagle Steakhouse concepts in addition to a portfolio of 17 restaurants from the failing Restaurants Unlimited parent company.

Just last month, Fertitta published his first book but in lieu of a rousing rendition of his life story he delves into what he believes is necessary to be successful in business from his own experiences. Needless to say, “Tilman Fertitta’s Landry’s Inc. buys another distressed restaurant chain” is sure to be in headlines for the next decade to come.

A full company profile for Landry’s Inc. can be found in CSG’s Chain Restaurant Premier database; including verified digital contact information for its decision makers.