Miami Living Magazine

John Isner

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Page 158 of 187

power in an ever-changing culinary climate. "I think initially Shula's was successful because of the name recognition, but that only works once or twice. You have to give people a reason to come back to the restaurant, and that's our consistent and quality product," says Don. He also believes that great partnerships are key to success, both on the field and in the restaurant business. "Our partners have believed in the brand, and have strived to live up to the standards we've implemented," says Don. "We never compromise on quality, and that's apparent on many levels. When a customer has a great experience, they share it, and word spreads." To help propel the future growth of the company, in 2019 Don brought in a new executive team that he believed could take the Restaurant Group to new heights over the next 30 years. A crucial member of that team is the new Corporate Culinary Director, Chef Demetrio Zavala, who has cooked under the tutelage of some of America's best culinarians, including Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, Rocco DiSpirito of Union Pacific, Daniel Boulud of Café Boulud, and Gordon Ramsey of Cielo. With Chef Zavala driving the menus and bringing creativity to the kitchen, the Shula's stable of restaurant brands is poised for continued greatness. Additionally, Shula's will be reimagining som e of the concepts, and introducing new branding imagery and redesigns of some of the restaurant spaces over the next year. For his part, Don is enthusiastic about the changes, as well as the plans for Shula's Restaurant Group in the future. "We hope to continue to build great relationships and expand our partner base, as well as opening new restaurants in new locations in the near future," he says. "[My wife] Mary Anne and I have always wanted to build a legacy with the restaurant group that complemented my coaching career. It's always our goal to present an extraordinary business that our family will be proud of for generations to come." ML For more information about Shula's Restaurant Group, visit

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