Entrepreneur of the month: Steve Overholt

Establishments: 34-unit Cheeseburger in Paradise

Headquarters: Tampa, FL

What he’s done: In addition to taking the Jimmy Buffett-themed chain private last September, CiP President Overholt has initiated steps to restore the island-escape concept to paradise-ville. A new, smaller prototype has been created, and six units have been remodeled with new décor and TV screens to appeal beyond the default family market. “Craveable” new salads, wraps and other lighter items have been added, and marketing has gone more local, in hopes of getting desperate real estate developers more aware of the brand.

Why we like him: Overholt, 48, has a knack for stabilization, both operational and cultural. “We were expanding too quickly and damaged the brand,” says Overholt, who brought his entire management team with him from former parent Outback Steakhouse. “We didn’t have the talent on board to back it up.” The company has closed 10 units and will close more as necessary: “whatever it takes to start growing the company again.” New executive-level positions in real estate, culinary and beverages have been created.

What’s next: Locations in new types of markets, franchising in 2011 and a possible fast-casual iteration.


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