Thomas J. Baldwin is Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member of Benihana, where he is responsible for more than 100 iconic Benihana Teppanyaki, Haru Sushi, RA Sushi and Samurai Restaurants. Tom led initiatives to expand Benihana’s powerful brand into Consumer Packaged Goods (with KraftHeinz), branded Beverages and Fast Casual restaurant formats for Yankee Stadium, Hard Rock Stadium and other entertainment and retail venues.
Tom is past Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Morton’s Restaurant Group (NYSE:MRT). Tom, who led two IPO’s for Morton’s, is widely recognized throughout the restaurant industry for his role in building Morton’s The Steakhouse into a global brand and category leader.
Tom has extensive domestic and international leadership experience in growth oriented branded restaurants and consumer products, brand positioning and management, global strategy, operations, marketing and sales, people resources, real estate development, investor and public relations and franchising.
Tom is fully committed to superior people focused cultures and brands, unparalleled guest experiences, uncompromising quality standards, consistent execution and creative marketing and has deep experience with public and private company management, Board governance, capital markets, private equity, IPOs, public equity offerings, workouts, acquisitions and going private transactions.
Tom was identified as “All Star CEO the Best and Brightest” by Restaurant Finance Monitor. He is a Sommelier (Guild of Sommeliers – First Level.) and has been a frequent speaker at domestic and international professional, industry, and investor events. He has been quoted in major print media and has made multiple TV appearances.
He has been active in fund raising for Cardinal Hayes High School, the South Bronx High School which he attended. He is a past Chairman and Board member of the March of Dimes Connecticut Division and has been active in several other professional, civic and community service organizations.