We locals know the Valley has been a dining destination for some time. Now, the rest of the country is taking note. We’re finally being recognized as a city that’s driving dining trends by way of some incredible culinary talent. Truth is, we’re tired of not being seen as the food-centric market we’ve become. Phoenix has earned its seat at the table and I’m more excited than ever about the innovation and creativity emerging from Arizona. The talent here is impressive and, while the list of veteran restaurateurs in the Valley is long, so too is the list of fresh, homegrown talent.
The Valley’s restaurant growth is proof that locals and visitors alike are seeking experiential dining in Arizona. Guests are exploring new neighborhoods and tapping into the local food scene. Today, there’s a great range of successful restaurateurs in Arizona. Whether it’s a James Beard Award-winning restaurant, a cool local dive bar, or a place that serves family favorites in a creative atmosphere, there’s quality in the kitchen, hospitality on the floor, creativity in design, and a million reasons out there to love our growing restaurant scene. Arizona is a dining scene, and we are only going to get better.
This month, In Business Magazine editor RaeAnne Marsh has spoken to many of the great restaurant concept business owners in the Valley and asked them about their successes and the local trends as it pertains to development of new and unique concepts. The business behind dining these days has evolved to a creative and innovative industry of which I am happy to be a part here in the Valley and throughout the United States.
In this issue’s By the Numbers article, Mike Hunter analyzes how middle market businesses, which make up only 1 percent of all business, are leading the way for job growth. The findings are incredible and are fueling economic growth to the extent other small and large businesses are taking note.
Nonprofits are looking at giving in a whole new light, as Richard Tollefson indicates in his article on the different ways individuals give and how the systems behind nonprofits benefit from working more closely with these donors’ interests. Organizations are seeing that the simple “checkbook” payment is not enough to engage donors.
Annually, In Business Magazine produces a comprehensive legal guide with business owners in mind. This year’s guide includes many top firms, their practice areas and an interactive online guide that can help businesses of all sizes find the best fit for legal expertise. Many strong local firms are profiled this year and have provided some useful information about choosing a firm to work with.
I am pleased to have been asked to lead this issue of In Business Magazine, as my industry is showcased in many ways this month. I hope the information provided further helps to enrich business here in the Valley.
Founder and CEO
Fox Restaurant Concepts
Sam Fox is the creative and entrepreneurial visionary behind Fox Restaurant Concepts. Driven by an undying love for food and a sharp eye for design, he has grown one restaurant into an empire that now spans eight states and counting.
Fox is a third-generation restaurateur, and the hospitality business runs in his blood. He first ventured into the industry in 1993 when he opened Gilligan’s Bar & Grill in Tucson. He sold that restaurant in 1998 and opened the doors to Wildflower American Cuisine, which soon became the catalyst to his current restaurant empire. He moved to Phoenix in 2001 to expand his business, and has since grown the group to include 15 innovative concepts with nearly 50 locations across the United States.