Creed Ford III grew up in Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics. After graduating, he began his career in the restaurant industry as a General Manager at the Pelican’s Wharf Restaurant in Dallas, Texas. In 1976 he joined the management team at the first Chili’s Grill and Bar restaurant. While at Chili’s, Ford held leadership positions from General Manager to Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and Director of Brinker International Inc., formerly Chili’s, Inc. While at Brinker as COO, Ford with the Brinker team established the casual dining giant as one of the most successful multi-concept restaurant companies worldwide.
In 1997, Ford left Brinker and became a franchisee of Chili’s Grill and Bar with Lynn Ford, President and majority owner of Rudy’s Country Store and Bar·B·Q and Ozona Grill and Bar. Ford Restaurant Group built 11 Franchise Chili’s throughout small towns in Texas and eventually sold them to Brinker International.
Ford co-founded Fired Up, Inc. in 1997 by purchasing the seven-unit Johnny Carino’s Italian Kitchen chain of Italian restaurants. After redefining Carino’s to Johnny Carino’s Country Italian, Ford and his partners expanded Johnny Carino’s to over 170 restaurants in domestic and international markets. Fired Up Inc also owned Kona Ranch Steak house, Gumbo’s Louisiana Kitchen and the Brown Bar. Due to the recession in 2008 and the downturn in casual dining economy Carino’s filed for bankruptcy in 2014 and was sold to a Carino’s franchisee who owns the brand today.
During his 43 year career, Ford has been involved with numerous different restaurant concepts either through ownership, as an operator or investor. From being part of restaurant startups, public offerings, acquisitions, re-branding and restructuring Ford has seen the industry through many stages and situations. He is the former Chairman of the Texas Restaurant Educational Foundation. Ford is a Board Member of Nolan Ryan Beef Company, TC4 Restaurant Company and Little Woodrows Inc. Ford is also currently active in his support for Texas A&M University, operating Ford Llano Ranch and working with various charitable organizations. Creed Lives in Spicewood Texas with his wife Lynn, they have two children Harper Ford Rehme and Creed Ford IV you are both partners in Ford Restaurant Group.Creed Ford III Ford Restaurant Group President