VOL. 133 | NO. 145 | Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Conscious Business With Brian Schultz
While working as an aid to Sen. Arlen Specter, Brian Schultz had a vision. Actually, he saw a movie and there he had a vision. The experience at the theater gave him an idea. This particular venue blended a theme restaurant and movie theater. They served “warm beer and roller-skate-place type food.” It was 1991 and “love at first sight.”
Knowing he could “up the food and beverage side of the offering,” Brian opened his first Studio Movie Grill in 1993. The mission was to “open hearts and minds, one story at a time.” Since then, he’s served more than 3 million guests and 7,500 employees. Lot’s a lot of growth inspired by one bad meal.
Schultz now stands as the founder/owner and CEO of Studio Movie Grill, the original cinema-dining concept combining first-run movies with table-service restaurants. Schultz is credited as the leader and innovator of this rapidly growing segment of the exhibition industry.
Currently, SMG has theaters in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. Studio Movie Grill offers state-of-the-art sound and projection capabilities, 100 percent reserved seating and an eclectic American Grill menu featuring its own signature studio wines from central California. SMG hosts thousands of corporate and special events. As part of its conscious business initiative and its mission to open hearts and minds, one story at a time, SMG hosts special needs screenings, outreach and fundraising events and offers a Chefs for Children program that donates a percentage of proceeds from the purchase of specific menu items.
SMG stands as an example of doing well by doing good, another conscious capitalism business. These types of firms have a defined and articulated purpose. SMG’s is “create a positive wake in the world.”
Then, they have a detailed shareholder map, which charts out the impact of each of the company’s relationships. For SMG, this map includes: guests, community, partners, team members and investors. Next come metrics that are built around a win-win paradigm for each of these shareholders. SMG calls these metrics Win5.
They also set up a program to help nonprofits serving special needs children, the Chefs for Children program. SMG donates 5 percent of proceeds to local nonprofits serving special needs children in the community when patrons order from its chef-inspired Two for $28/29 Sharing Menu. They’ve contributed over $1 million.
Schultz sees the theater business as the right forum for positive social change: “Stories, in the form of movies, can really impact social change.” Movies “can make a bigger change than politics.”
“Using this model, it is a win for everyone,” he says. “We have greater retention and performance, as well as deep relationships with customers and vendors. It’s a holistic model of total empowerment.”
Michael Graber, managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, can be reached at southerngrowthstudio.com.