FOODARAZZI: 60 SECONDS WITH STEVE SALMON
How does that saying go, “With a name like ‘Salmon’, the steaks have got to be good!”? Or, perhaps, it’s a punchline. Either way, in Steve Salmon’s case, it’s true. Raised in a food industry-family, and managing a Los Angeles dining hotspot by 25, the restaurant wunderkind’s meteoric rise to the top of the foodservice chain seemed almost predestined. Here, we hook up with Morton’s “2011 GM of the Year” and learn that when he’s not winning accolades, the award-winning GM enjoys leisure-time aboard his boat or heads to Lake Tahoe for peace and tranquility. Maybe there is something in a name…
BACKSTORY: I literally grew up in the hospitality industry and followed in some pretty big footsteps. My mother was a food service director for a major Los Angeles hospital and my uncle was a successful restaurateur. My “boot camp” started as a bartender’s apprentice at a hip L.A. nightclub when I was 19 and a few years later I was hired on as the General Manager at St. Mark’s at the Beach in Venice, CA.
TOP GM: It might sound cliché, but Morton’s is the best company to work for. Not only is it the best restaurant anywhere, the people I get to work with everyday are as driven and passionate as I am. I originally joined the company in 1994 as an Assistant Manager for Morton’s in Costa Mesa, California then was promoted to General Manager of Morton’s Sacramento in 1996 and later transferred to Southfield then Troy, Michigan.
AWARD WINNER: I’m very proud of the awards my restaurants and staff have won including the Service Excellence Award (Morton’s Costa Mesa); two Training Restaurant of the Year Awards and the Service Excellence Award (Morton’s Southfield). I recently took home the “2011 GM of the Year” which I personally compare to winning an Academy Award. It’s a huge career highlight for me.
SALMON ADVICE: 1.) Always do the right thing. If you have to ask yourself, then it’s probably not. 2.) If you make people feel like they’re your partner in business, they will be. 3.) Never sacrifice your company’s brand and protect it at all costs.
THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE ME: Relentless, driven, and consistent.
FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION: Lake Tahoe, I can’t get there enough. Maybe we’ll open a Morton’s there.
POWER SUIT: Blue pinstripes with a cranberry-colored tie.
WHEN I’M NOT WORKING, I’M…: Doing chores at home.
ONE THING I’VE BEEN DYING TO TRY: Parachuting.
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL: Labatt Blue Light Beer.
I STAY HOME TO WATCH: My wonderful children.
FAVORITE PLACE TO DE-STRESS: On the lake in my boat.
FAVORITE GETAWAY TO CHILL OUT: Morton’s annual General Managers Conference.
PRIZED POSSESSION: My boat.
ADJECTIVE TO DESCRIBE MY MOOD: Outgoing.
WHOM I MOST ADMIRE: Klaus Fritsch, Morton’s Co-Founder and Vice Chairman.
PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Being named “Morton’s General Manager of the Year” by my peers in 2011.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE…The best part of being me is…: I am incredibly happy and secure in who I am and what I’ve become.
Are you ready to take your career to the next level? Consider a rewarding restaurant and hospitality job at Morton’s The Steakhouse! Be More. Be Morton’s.