By Henry Unger
While successful, Ted Turner hasn’t partnered with many people in his business career. In fact, he grew even more gun-shy after losing most of his wealth in the Time Warner-AOL merger. Still, Turner put up $5 million a decade ago to partner with veteran restaurant owner George McKerrow. They started Atlanta-based Ted’s Montana Grill, partly to create a commercial demand for the threatened American bison, which Turner raises on his vast land holdings.
McKerrow, 62, is a self described serial entrepreneur who began in the restaurant business as a teenager. The founder of LongHorn Steakhouse and current co-owner of fine-dining restaurants Canoe and Aria, McKerrow is also CEO of Ted’s. The casual-dining restaurant firm has grown to $104 million in revenue from 44 company-owned locations in 16 states. Making it in the restaurant business is difficult, but McKerrow shares some of what he’s learned since his early days as a busboy.