DALLAS, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Excelling in all facets of business operations, giving back to the community and making guests and team members feel special are instilled attributes of the highest performing managers from Brinker International, Inc., (NYSE: EAT) parent company of Chili's® Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy®. Brinker is proud to name Charles Legan, Managing Partner of Chili's in Manteca, Calif.; and Michael Marsico, General Manager of Maggiano's in Indianapolis, Ind., as the company-wide general managers of the year. Additionally, Kelly Tynan, Area Director overseeing several Chili's locations in the Denver market, was announced as the company's first Above Restaurant Leader of the Year award recipient.
Now in its seventh year, the Brinker General Manager (GM) of the Year award – a nationwide, cross-brand recognition as part of the company's 5-Star Challenge program – is designed to reward top operators for achieving success in criteria such as guest and team member engagement scores, sales and profitability and community involvement. Results are tracked and communicated each quarter, and at the end of each fiscal year, managers who are in the top five percent from Chili's and Maggiano's, are named as members of the 5-Star Chairman's Club, receive cash, vacations and become eligible for the General Manager of the Year award.
Legan, Marsico and Tynan were recently acknowledged at a Brinker all-team member meeting in Dallas where they received the coveted Norman Brinker Cup – a crystal trophy named in honor of the late restaurant-industry icon and company namesake, Norman Brinker – to display in the restaurant, a one-year lease on a new car and $25,000. Additionally, all team members at Legan and Marsico's restaurants will enjoy a special party, cash bonus and other incentives."Charles and Kelly operate with the highest degree of integrity, and their commitment to carry out our brand ideals and behaviors are evident in their daily interactions with others," said Wyman Roberts, president of Chili's Grill & Bar. "Their willingness to mentor peers around them, while advancing the operational success of their restaurants and driving our business forward, is a true testament of what it takes to be extraordinary leaders within our brand." A 20-year 'ChiliHead,' Legan began his career with Chili's as cook, working his way through other support jobs before his post as GM. In addition to his GM of the Year recognition, Legan was recently promoted to Area Director, responsible for managing operations at multiple San Jose-area Chili's. When he's not busy running his restaurants, Legan gives back to his community through the following organizations: Relay for Life, Boys & Girls Club of Manteca, Toys for Tots and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Tynan began working with Chili's in 1978 as a cook in Houston, Texas, one of the few Chili's opened at the time. And he's evolved throughout his tenure with the company, embracing new leadership styles to create personal working connections with his team members, interacting and engaging with his guests and making them feel special, while implementing the cultural beliefs of the Chili's brand. His leadership resulted in high team member and guest engagement scores and impressive sales and profit plans. Marisco practically grew up with Maggiano's, first visiting the restaurant when he was 8 years old. His mother was a server at the Maggiano's in Schaumburg, Ill., where Marisco later worked in coat check as a teenager. Before graduating from high school, Marsico had the following responsibilities: busboy, host, Maître´ D, carryout coordinator, and accounting assistant. He continued his tenure with Maggiano's through college, working at the original location in downtown Chicago, later becoming a manager there. A promotion to Assistant General Manager brought him to Indianapolis, where he has served as General Manager since 2010. Outside his commitment to the restaurant, Marisco finds time to have an active and positive presence in his community, supporting charities such as the Italian Heritage Society of Indiana, Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis Domestic Abuse Organization, Habitat for Humanity and Make-A-Wish Foundation. "Michael's passion for Maggiano's has been evident from an early age, and he continues to stand out as the leading operator of our brand," said Steve Provost, president of Maggiano's Little Italy. "In the short time since his post in Indianapolis, he's managed to take an already high-performing restaurant to another level of operational success." Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), is one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies, serving more than 1 million guests daily. Founded in 1975 and based in Dallas, Texas, Brinker owns or franchises more than 1,500 restaurants in 33 countries and two territories. Brinker restaurant brands include Chili's ® Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy ®. Brinker also holds a minority stake in Romano's Macaroni Grill ®. For more information, visit www.brinker.com.