Tilman J. Fertitta
|Tilman J. Fertitta|
|Born||June 25, 1957 (age 57)
Galveston, Texas (USA)
|Residence||Houston, Texas, U.S.|
|Occupation||Chairman, CEO & Sole Owner Landry's, Inc.|
|Net worth||US$2.4 billion (Sept 2013)|
Tilman Joseph Fertitta (born June 25, 1957) is an American businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist and the chairman, CEO and sole owner of Landry's, Inc., one of the nation’s largest restaurant corporations. In 2013, Fertitta’s net worth was estimated at $2.4 billion, placing him at No. 235 on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans; Forbes calls him the “World’s Richest Restaurateur”. Fertitta is also a member of the Board of Regents for the University of Houston System.
Fertitta was born and raised in Galveston, Texas, several generations after his family had emigrated to Texas from Sicily. Fertitta’s father Vic owned a seafood restaurant on Galveston Island, and after school, a young Tilman Fertitta would peel shrimp in his father’s restaurant. Fertitta attended Texas Tech University and the University of Houston, studying business administration and hospitality management.
His first entrepreneurial experience involved selling and promoting Shaklee vitamins. In the 1980s, Fertitta founded and ran a construction and development business, and developed his first major project, the Key Largo Hotel in Galveston.
Fertitta was a partner in the first Landry’s Restaurant, Landry’s Seafood, which opened its doors in the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas, in 1980. A year later, Fertitta helped open Willie G’s Seafood & Steaks, a more upscale restaurant in Houston’s Uptown/Galleria area. In 1986, Fertitta gained controlling interests of both locations, and in 1988, became sole owner of Landry’s Restaurants. In 1993, Fertitta took Landry’s, Inc. public, and the company grew quickly, adding concept after concept.
In 2010, Fertitta, who already owned the majority of Landry’s, Inc. stock, purchased all outstanding shares, becoming sole owner again. In 1993, the company was valued at approximately $30 million. By 2011, the company’s value had skyrocketed to a value of more than $1.7 billion. As of 2013, the company, under the leadership of Fertitta, owns and operates more than 500 restaurant, entertainment, gaming and hospitality locations. In total, Landry’s, Inc. employs more than 50,000 people and controls $3.2 billion in assets.
Landry’s portfolio of concepts includes: The Golden Nugget Hotel and Casinos, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Rainforest Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks, Saltgrass Steak House, Claim Jumper, Chart House, The Oceanaire, Mastro’s Restaurants, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse and many others.
Philanthropy and Public Service
Fertitta devotes a significant amount of his time to community service and support of charitable organizations around Houston. Throughout the year, Fertitta and his wife Paige host a wide variety of fundraising events and galas at their home. Fertitta is actively involved with the Houston Children’s Charity, serving as Chairman of the Board. Every year, the Fertittas conduct a special fundraiser for the organization, called “A Gathering of Champions”. The event is attended by well-known professional athletes from around Houston and across the nation. Guests attend in casual attire.
In 2009, Texas Governor Rick Perry appointed Fertitta to the Board of Regents for the University of Houston System, a role in which he will serve through 2015. In 2008, Fertitta was named chairperson of the Houston Police Department’s Police Foundation, supplying gear and equipment for Houston Police Officers. He also serves on the Executive Committee for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Additionally, Fertitta is a board member for the following Houston-based organizations: Texas Heart Institute, Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the Greater Houston Partnership.
- Forbes: "The World's Billionaires - Tilman Fertitta" September 2013
- Landrys, Inc. official website
- Yahoo Finance page on Landrys, Inc.
- Texas Business Hall of Fame page for Tilman Fertitta