Chairman/Partner – Classic Restaurant Concepts
Burton M. “Skip” Sack is a Past Chairman of the National Restaurant Association, a former franchisee of Applebee’s, a former Executive Vice President of Applebee’s, a past Board Member of Applebee’s International, and presently a Partner and Chairman of Classic Restaurant Concepts.
Skip began his career in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher for Howard Johnson’s when he was 13 years old. At 17 he joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he served 3 years (18 months overseas) and rose to the rank of Sergeant.
Immediately upon his discharge, he enrolled in the School of Hotel & Restaurant Administration at Cornell University, where he graduated in three and a half years and earned his B.S. Degree “with distinction.” Skip worked his way through school as a full-time Deputy Sheriff of Thompkin’s County, NY.
Upon graduation in 1961, Skip joined the Howard Johnson Company as an Advertising Assistant, soon becoming Assistant Director of Marketing and Vice President of Public Relations, all within 3 years. In 1967, the company enrolled him in Harvard Business School where he completed the Program for Management Development, an intensive 16 week course for middle management.
In 1983 he executed a leveraged buyout, acquiring 15 Red Coach Grill dinner house restaurants which he then sold for the real estate and leasehold value.
In 1984 he became the second franchisee of Applebee’s, acquiring the right to develop the New England territory. At the time, Applebee’s had only two restaurants. His first restaurant opened in 1986, and by 1994 he had 16 restaurants operating in 4 New England states, employing over 1,300 people. That year he sold his restaurant operations to Applebee’s International, agreeing to work for three years as an Executive Vice President of the company and to serve as a member of its Board of Directors. Skip retired from Applebee’s in 1997 and from the Board of Directors in
2007 when the company was sold.
Skip is currently a private investor in over 50 start-up companies and serves on the board of five of them. He maintains an active involvement in the NRA, serving on its board, as well as being a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at Cornell University’s Hotel School. He is also a life member of the Cornell University Council. Skip is one of the founding members of the Marine Corps Heritage Museum. In the fall of 2007, he was one of two National Restaurant Association Board members appointed to serve on its Inaugural relationship with Marine Corps foodservice, joining civilian/military sector traveler teams touring Marine Corps Messes worldwide and determining winners of the Corps’ prestigious annual Major General W.P.T. Hill awards. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Marine Corps Association and a Trustee of the Marine Corps Association Foundation.
He serves on the boards of Tibersoft Corporation, Tempra Technologies; Evolucia Lighting and Cambryn Biologics.
Skip and his wife Gail make their home in Longboat Key, FL and spend the summers on Cape Cod.