Same But Different: Restaurant Fundamentals

Whatever the challenges faced by the restaurant industry, there remain standards for good food, hospitality, and culture. This legendary restaurant operator explains how to keep use three tenets as your north star in the face of trendy distractions. 


Sunday, July 14, 2019


3:30pm - 4:15pm


Big Bend Big Ideas Stage


Johnny Carrabba, Johnny Carrabba Family of Restaurants


Johnny Carraba

Johnny Carrabba

Proudly born and raised in the East End of Houston, Johnny Carrabba III was raised in his parent’s family-owned grocery store, Carrabba’s Friendly Grocery. In 1986, Johnny opened The Original Carrabba’s on Kirby Drive. The second location on South Voss Road opened its doors in 1988. In 1993, Outback Steakhouse created a joint venture partnership opening over 250 Carrabba’s Italian Grill Restaurants nationwide. Johnny and his family continue to own and operate the two original Carrabba’s locations. In 2012, the family’s new fast-casual concept, Mia’s Table, opened behind the Original Carrabba’s on Kirby. In 2014, Grace’s, affectionately named after Johnny’s grandmother, Grace Mandola, opened its doors forging the fourth family-owned and operated restaurant. Mia’s Table opened its second location in Shenandoah, in 2018 and the third location in Webster, in 2019. Mia’s Table continues to grow throughout the greater Houston area as future locations include Katy, Cypress, and Memorial City.