Jeffrey Yarbrough is a pretty cool guy. No one loves the restaurant industry more than this guy. You may remember Jeffrey from the Club Clearview days where he was one of the hands-on owners, or possibly one of my favorite restaurants from the 90’s, Liberty Noodles. He was responsible for bringing the award winning chef talent Annie Wong to Dallas, and they even authored a book together called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Asian Cooking. Yarbrough still loves his Asian cuisine, I saw his family dining not long ago at First Chinese BBQ in Richardson, but he is also the CEO of one of the city’s most respected public relations firms, bigInk. You might guess that most of his clients are restaurants.
Restaurant Business magazine recognizes bigInk’s CEO Jeffrey Yarbrough for his Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day idea as one of the top “50 Great Ideas” helping to inspire the restaurant industry. Yarbrough’s ingenious idea to declare a holiday for Texas’ beloved chicken fried steak is included in the cover story special report, “50 Great Ideas,” featured in the magazine’s February issue. (Click here for article)
In 2010, bigInk rallied with restaurants across the state to offer special deals and promotions to get Texas’ favorite dish the attention it deserved. After turning to state representative Ralph Sheffield, a restaurateur turned politician, Yarbrough got the ball rolling on making Texas Chicken Fried Steak an official holiday. On May 30, 2011, Sheffield, Speaker of the House Joe Straus and Chief Clerk Robert Haney signed the resolution declaring the mouth-watering holiday.
Thanks to Yarbrough’s hard work, October 26 is now recognized as Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day. The holiday was officially celebrated for the first time this past fall with great success throughout Texas. Restaurateurs jumped at the opportunity to run promotions and garner free publicity through newspaper and TV coverage. “It turned out to be one of their biggest days in terms of traffic and sales,” Yarbrough says.
Congratulations, Mr. Yarbrough.