John Cooper receives the association's hall of fame award
John Cooper, president of Bonefish Grill, received the 2011 Restaurateur Hall of Fame Award from the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. The Hall of Fame award is recognized as the association's most prestigious annual award and the criteria for selection includes a personal record of industry achievement over a period of at least 20 years.
Only those nominees who have attained career distinctions of the highest level and are held in high esteem for their distinguished service to their industry, community, charitable organizations and family are considered. Tim Curci, co-founder of Bonefish Grill was also honored.
An industry veteran, Cooper started his restaurant and management career with Steak 'n Ale in 1974. He later joined Bennigan's restaurants in 1978 where he was responsible for the operations in West Central Florida. Cooper's career with Outback Steakhouse began in 1988. As joint venture partner, Cooper developed the 13 store Orlando market. In 1999, he moved on to serve as president of Zazarac, a subsidiary of Outback, specializing in Louisiana cuisine. In 2001, Cooper joined Bonefish Grill. During his tenure as president of Bonefish Grill the restaurant chain has grown to 158 locations from two.
In addition to his restaurant experience Cooper has supported numerous trade and charitable organizations.
The award was presented to Cooper at the Installation Gala & Awards Ceremony held in Destin, Florida last week.
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