Business 100 - 2008

Thomas Shannon/T-Bird Restaurant Group, Inc.

In 1992, Tom Shannon formed the T-Bird Restaurant Group to develop the Outback Steakhouse concept in California. Today, the group has 62 Outback Steakhouse restaurants and continues to grow. The California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation named Shannon “Restaurateur of the Year 2002.”

Tom, whose Irish grandparents settled in the Boston Harbor area in 1899, was born in Somerville, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Florida on a football/baseball scholarship and graduated with a double degree in Marketing and Management. He was named Most Valuable Player in the 1962 Gator Bowl, and inducted into the University of Florida’s Hall of Fame.

Tom serves on the Outback Steakhouse Foundation executive committee, and as the Outback Pro-Am Tournament Chairman he helps raise over $600,000 annually for children’s charities in the Tampa area. In 2004, Tom received the “Spirit of Life Award” presented by the City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute, and in 2006, he joined the roster of distinguished Americans when he was presented with the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor award.