Steven Sponder has founded, co-founded and backed eight successful Restaurant concepts in California, Hawaii, Florida and Virginia including The Palace Grill (New Orleans cuisine in Santa Barbara, CA.), Palazzio (Family-style Italian in Montecito, CA.), Cafe Orleans (New Orleans cuisine in Santa Barbara, CA.) Orleans Express (Cajun cuisine) in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sublime (Fine-dining Vegan cuisine) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and NN Burger (Craft Burgers in Virginia). He also created the concept for the C&O Trattoria (Family-style Italian cuisine) in Los Angeles, California. His restaurant ownership and theme creation history has included a variety of service styles from Fast-Casual, Quick-Service, Casual-Sit Down and Fine-Dining concepts.
Sponder’s entrepreneurial endeavors have appeared in dozens national publications including USA Today, The New York Times, Bon Appetit and Gourmet Magazine. The Nation’s Restaurant News credits Sponder with popularizing a unique “Team-Service” system that is now used by countless restaurant chains around the world to improve guest service.
Since opening his first theme restaurant 31 years ago at age 23, his restaurant concepts have served millions of guests – including 5 United States Presidents.
In addition to restaurants, Sponder founded two innovative Information Technology companies – one backed by U.S. and European Venture Capitalists and selected for a partnership with AOL-Time Warner which was ultimately acquired, and another selected for a joint-venture content partnership with Microsoft Corporation.
Mr. Sponder currently develops restaurants and participates in select business opportunities.