Steve King and Wally Doolin

Steve King and Wally Doolin at TDn2K’s 2016 Global Best Practices Conference

TDn2K™ has announced that Steve King, immediate past CEO and current chairman of Dave & Buster’s Restaurants, has been named the recipient of the 2019 Workplace Legacy Award. This prestigious honor will be presented at the Global Best Practices Conference to be held in January 2019 in Dallas, Texas.

The Workplace Legacy Award recognizes a leader in the restaurant industry who has demonstrated success in balancing superior people practices and best-in-class operational results. In addition, their employees, organizations and communities have benefited from their leadership and efforts.

“Steve King was one of the earliest adopters of benchmarked competitive human resource metrics. He was always a champion of the TDn2K mission to balance people, profits and purpose. Throughout his entire career, he has led his teams with quiet but unwavering commitment to the restaurant workforce. It is a privilege to honor him with the 2019 Workplace Legacy Award” said Joni Thomas Doolin, chief executive officer & founder of TDn2K.

Through my many years of knowing and working with Steve, I have always valued his opinion and perspective. His combination of exceptional intellectual capacity coupled with his humility to listen to others makes him a truly respected and proven leader.

Wally Doolin

Chairman and Founder, TDn2K

King served as chief executive officer of Dave & Buster’s Inc. from 2006 to 2017 when he moved to chairman of the eatertainment brand based in Dallas, Texas. He also served as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Prior to Dave & Buster’s he spent his time working for Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, parent company of TGI Friday’s where he acted as both domestic and international president. He also served on Carlson’s Shared Services Board and Chief Financial Officer Leadership Council and led the launch of Carlson’s project management office. King holds an MBA degree from Cornell University and earned his Bachelor’s degree at Cornell’s acclaimed School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration.

“I was privileged to work for a number of leaders who believed in the power of building teams, as the way to creating a successful business. As I grew and developed as a leader, I was able to continue living this philosophy and pass it on to those I worked with, thereby growing brands and achieving success,” said Steve King. “To be recognized by TDn2K, the industry organization that has been a leader in the recognition that people are the primary ingredient to our success, is a great honor.”

The Workplace Legacy Award was presented for the first time in 2005. Previous winners of the honor include: Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group, Sally Smith of Buffalo Wild Wings, John Miller of Denny’s, Phil Hickey of Rare Hospitality, Greg Creed of Taco Bell, Jerry Deitchle of BJ’s Restaurants and Gene Lee of Darden. These leaders clearly demonstrate commitment to leading people-first cultures that also win in the marketplace.