Sam Fox

The Power List 2017: Sam Fox

NRN presents The Power List 2017, our fourth annual list of the most powerful people in foodservice. The Top 10 on the list are leading the restaurant industry today, and shaping its future.

Sam Fox and his Phoenix-based Fox Restaurant Concepts LLC have manufactured a new-concept machine. 

Fox creates new restaurants, cranks up their operations and then catches the eye of investors or buyers. His success lies in keeping his eye trained on where consumers are headed — not just where they are now.

Fox Restaurant Concepts has 53 restaurants in eight states across 16 brands. They include The Arrogant Butcher, Blanco Tacos + Tequila, Culinary Dropout, Juby True, Wildflower American Cuisine and Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar.

In 2008, Fox launched the healthful casual-dining concept True Food Kitchen with Dr. Andrew Weil, which now has 15 units. 

True Food Kitchen drew an early $10 million investment from P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. in 2012, before private-equity firm Centerbridge Partners LP took P.F. Chang’s private. 

True Food Kitchen now has its own CEO and will operate as a standalone company.

In 2002, Fox created the casual-dining concept North Italia, which has nine units. In 2014, he launched the fast-casual Flower Child brand, now at five units. In November, both concepts drew a minority investment from Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based The Cheesecake Factory Inc. 

Fox and his concepts have been recognized for excellence on both the business and culinary sides. In 2014, Fox was honored with the Richard Melman Award by Restaurant Hospitality for his work as an innovator. 

The same year, True Food Kitchen won a MenuMasters Award from Nation’s Restaurant News for its innovative and healthful cuisine. 

Most recently, Flower Child was named a 2016 Breakout Brand by NRN, as a cutting-edge concept poised to influence the industry. 

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