Nashville got a big boost to its economy Thursday when a national restaurant company announced it's moving its national headquarters to Music City.
American Blue Ribbon Holdings owns two local restaurant chains, O'Charley's and Stoney River.
It also has over 600 other restaurants in 43 states and brings in $1.5 billion in annual revenue. The national headquarters is moving from Denver, Colorado to office space on Sidco Drive.
“The food scene here, the entertainment scene, the people seem friendly the employee base seems to be welcoming certainly you can feel the southern hospitality here,” said ABRH president Hazem Ouf.
Ouf continued, “We employee 33,000 employees across the country. To choose Nashville as a headquarters for us was a big decision. The ability for us to travel with ease to most, if not all of our locations, in less than three hours [also played a factor].”
American Blue Ribbon Holdings owns regional restaurants Ninety Nine, Max & Erma's, Village Inn and Baker's Square.
It acquired Nashville's O'Charley's earlier this year and in November it is expected to acquire Nashville based J. Alexander's.
“With the acquisition of O'Charley's earlier this year and the pending acquisition of J. Alexander's, two Nashville based companies, we've added nearly a billion dollars of revenue. It certainly made it clear that we need to be where most of our businesses are,” said Ouf.
The company did consider other options such as moving J. Alexander's and O'Charley's headquarters to join the rest of the company in Denver.
“Many of our executives from Colorado moved to Nashville and they found it to be a great place to find homes and settle in for their families” said Ouf.
The Nashville area Chamber of Commerce worked hard to attract ABRH.
Janet Miller told Nashville's News 2 that chamber members have been very happy since learning of the company's decision.
“This is very good because we are maintaining a corporate headquarters in this town, that's very important for the city” she said. “Anytime a company is being merged or acquired there is the risk you can be on the losing end of the equation.”
ABRH has some 150 employees in Nashville now and is considering employing another 40 to 50 people in the fields of marketing, IT, construction and accounting.