Steven Sponder is a tie-loathing, passionate entrepreneur who has founded, co-founded and backed eight award-winning 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 Organic cuisine in Fort Lauderdale, FL.) and NN Burger (Craft Burgers in Virginia). He also created the concept for the enduring C&O Trattoria (Family-style Italian cuisine in Los Angeles, CA.) His restaurant ownership history has included a variety of service styles from Fast-Casual to Fine-Dining to Casual-Sit Down to Quick-Service concepts. 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 before being acquired, and another selected for a joint-venture partnership with Microsoft Corporation. Sponder’s entrepreneurial endeavors have appeared in dozens of publications including USA Today, The New York Times, Bon Appetit and Gourmet Magazine. The Nation’s Restaurant News credits Sponder with developing a unique “Team-Service” system that is now used by countless restaurants around the world to enhance guest service. Since opening his first restaurant 31 years ago at age 23, his restaurant concepts have served millions of guests – including 5 United States Presidents.

Mr. Sponder currently develops restaurants, participates in select business opportunities and mentors new restaurateurs.


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