Michael C. Gibbons is a successful restaurateur operating businesses in twelve cities across five states as the President and CEO of Mainstreet Ventures Inc. (MSV). Gibbons is a dedicated advocate for the restaurant industry, as evidenced by his many past and present positions at the state and national level and through his philanthropic efforts.
As the current President and co-founder of MSV since 1981, Mr. Gibbons has worked diligently to set standards in fine dining in the restaurant industry and the MSV restaurants including: Blue Pointe Oyster Bar & Grill (Ft. Myers, Fla.), Carson’s American Bistro (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Ciao! (Sylvania, Ohio), EO Burgers (Beavercreek, Ohio & Fort Myers, Fla.), Gratzi (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Palio (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Real Seafood Company (Ann Arbor, Mich., Bay City, Mich., Toledo, Ohio, & Naples, Fla.), Stillwater Grill (Brighton, Mich. and Okemos, Mich.), The Chop House (Ann Arbor, Mich., Grand Rapids, Mich., Annapolis, Md. & Charleston, W. Va.), Tidewater Grill (Charleston, W. Va.), and Zia’s (Toledo, Ohio). Additionally, in 2017, opened four new restaurants: Palio (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Gratzi (Midland, Mich.), The Chop House (Toledo, Ohio) and Palio (Owens Mills, MD).
Gibbons began his career in the restaurant industry with the CA Muer Corporation, initially serving as a waiter while attending Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon graduation, Gibbons transferred to Michigan accepting a position with Muer’s Gandy Dancer restaurant as an assistant manager, and quickly advancing to general manager, regional manager and later director of training before embarking as a restaurateur. In 1979, Gibbons joined forces with Dennis Serras and in 1981, along with Dieter Boehm, founded Mainstreet Ventures Inc.
Gibbons’ long-standing commitment to the restaurant industry is exemplified through being president of the Michigan Restaurant Association 1991-1993 during which time he received the associations highest honor the Distinguished Service Award in 1993. In 2001, Gibbons was named the Northwest Ohio Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young . From 2010-2011, he was the chairman of the National Restaurant Association, 2010-2011 was the chairman of the Real Estate Task Force, was the vice-chairman of the National Restaurant Association Military Foundations’ Task Force 2010-2012 and 2010-2013 was the chairman of the Richard E. Marriott Save American Free Enterprise Golf Invitational.
Gibbons was also appointed by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board from 2012-2014.
As an entrepreneur, Gibbons is also co-founder and Chairman of Imenutech (founded 2011). Their first product, Menuvative, was created when Gibbons could not find a solution that would give guests a better dining experience with more information about what they were ordering and address common challenges faced by restaurants such as strengthening operational efficiencies and profitability. As a new technology tool in the restaurant industry, Menuvative offers a comprehensive solution by creating an interactive menu experience that allows guests to selectively view photos and detailed menu information, also providing a platform for adherence to federal regulations from the Affordable Care Act that will require restaurants to provide nutritional information on menus. Menuvative allows for real-time menu changes, while eliminating the use of table top paper advertising clutter and incorporates Pairing Pro, an intricate, patented algorithm that mimics the logic behind the food and wine pairing process performed by sommeliers. MSV was nominated for the National Restaurant Associations’ Operators Innovator Award (2012) in recognition of continued advancement in technology for use of Imenutech’s digital menus.
In 2007, Gibbons spent a month visiting the United States Air Force dining facilities worldwide as a National Restaurant Association Hennessy Traveler. As a member of the four-man team, he helped evaluate the dining facilities to determine which base would win the coveted John L. Hennessy trophy.
As a community cornerstone in every city in which it operates, MSV provides over $50,000 in scholarships to employees annually and helps to raise almost $2M annually for various charities and worthwhile causes. Each MSV restaurant operates an individual charitable program providing gift certificates, sponsorships, food donations, auction donations, and hosting of several fundraising events for various charitable groups and associations in the local community throughout the year.
At the local community level in Toledo, Ohio, Gibbons serves on several boards including the Finance Committee for ProMedica, served on the Board of Lourdes University, and also served as the chairman of the board for Kids Unlimited Toledo and co-chairman of the board for The Knight of the Vine Committee, at St. Francis de Sales High School. Gibbons is on the board of Bank Michigan, the Toledo Community Foundation and TutorSmart which serves inner city children with an afterschool program that he co -founded
Gibbons currently serves as an Honorary Faculty Member at Michigan State University, awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Foodservice from the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers in 2011 and again in 2015, awarded Fellow at the Culinary Institute of America and in 2012 was awarded Honorary Alumnus of Michigan State University. Gibbons is also the 2015 recipient of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association Silver Plate Award in the Independent Restaurant / Multi-Concept Operator category. The Ohio Restaurant Association nominated the Real Seafood Company in Toledo as one of the state of Ohio’s 2013 and 2015 Restaurant Good Neighbor Award winners and as a result was nominated for consideration by the 2015 National Restaurant Association Good Neighbor National Award.
Gibbons resides in Toledo, Ohio with his wife Sondra. He has two children, three stepsons and eight grandchildren.