Lauren McHugh Robinson, CEO and President of Huey’s Restaurants, has been named the 2015 Tennessee Restaurateur of the Year, an award presented by the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association (TnHTA). The award was presented to her at the annual awards banquet on August 4, 2015.
According to TnHTA, this award is “the pinnacle of industry achievement— there is no higher honor in the state.” The winner is chosen for his or her shining character, demonstrated work ethic, leadership ability, inspiring vision, and for contributions to the overall advancement of the hospitality and tourism industry in Tennessee. It is exclusively peer-nominated, and each year’s nominees and winners are hand-selected by the distinguished panel of previous winners.
Lauren was selected based on her industry knowledge and experience, hard-working and can-do demeanor, involvement in the Memphis community, and caring attitude toward all of her employees.
When asked about her honor, Lauren asserts, “I am very honored and humbled. This award is really due to all of our great staff. If not for them, we would not be who we are.”
Lauren began working with her father, Thomas Boggs, in the restaurant industry at a very early age at Huey’s Midtown. Over the years, she worked both in the kitchen and as a server.
Lauren graduated from Memphis State University in 1987 with a BA in Business and Marketing, cum laude. She received her MBA in Management from Memphis State University in 1993. She waited tables all through college.
In 1988, she began working for National Bank of Commerc
e in the Bank Card and Commercial Lending Divisions. In June of 1993, Lauren came back on board at Huey’s as the General Manager of Huey’s Cordova, which opened in 1994. After seeing the need to create tighter controls and more consistency in operations, Lauren was promoted to Vice President of Operations in 1995. In 2007 she was promoted to President of the company and then became CEO in 2008.
In addition to Huey’s, Lauren is also President and managing partner of Folk’s Folly Prime Steak House, plus partner in The Half Shell and Tsunami.
Lauren currently serves on the Board of Directors for Shelby Farms Park
Conservancy and Leadership Memphis
. She served on the board for Paragon Bank from 2012-2014. She is also a member of the Kiwanis Club of Memphis
and a Graduate of Leadership Memphis Class of 2007. She served several years with the Memphis Food Bank
as the Co-Chair for Feed the Need.
In addition to this award, Lauren has also been named a member of the 2003 Top 40 Under 40 class (Memphis Business Journal), 2013 Super Women in Business class (Memphis Business Journal), and 2014 CEO of the Year finalist (Memphis Business Quarterly).