Success Story for:

Mr. and Mrs. Miller of Fast Jack’s Restaurant

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Photo of Sue Pittman.

Mr. and Mrs. Miller would be quick to tell you that food has always been a passion of theirs.  This passion has been the source of many different discussions about restaurant ownership over the years.  Originally from upstate New York, Mr. Miller’s cooking “career” started at the age of seven when he began to take unofficial cooking lessons from a Swedish Master Chef.  The progression continued in his adolescent years where he spent several years working at a vineyard/winery, and has been finally fulfilled with his recent purchase of Fast Jack’s Restaurant in Tullahoma, TN.  Fast Jack’s, with an 18 year history in Tullahoma, will have menu offerings that focus on four key areas: seafood, steak, pasta, and traditional bar food.  There will be seasonal options available as well, including the addition of farm-to-table menu items during the summer months.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Miller have signature additions to the menu which includes Mr. Miller’s “original special sauce” along with Mrs. Miller’s truly outstanding Lasagna, which is based on an old Italian family recipe.

Although Mr. Miller had never owned or operated a restaurant prior to his purchase of Fast Jack’s, he has broad based experience in a number of different areas.  His active duty service with the US Army and National Guard allowed him to travel all over the country, and provided him with the opportunity to indulge his curiosity for restaurant operational detail in his conversations with restaurant owners.  Mr. Miller holds both Bachelors and Master’s Degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Middle Tennessee State University, along with an MBA from Texas A&M.

Mr. Miller realized early on that in order to make his dream of restaurant ownership a reality, he would need external capital.  In February 2013, he made contact with the SBDC at Middle Tennessee State University, attending one of their business planning Workshops.  This began a longstanding relationship with the SBDC where Mr. Miller would exchange ideas with the SBDC Counselors, utilizing the Service Center as a source of research information, and as a sounding board for the various deals being considered.  The SBDC provided general assistance with the creation of the business plan, and later in the process, demographic information for the various communities under consideration in southern middle Tennessee, traffic counts information to aid in location selection within these communities, and a review of several marketing strategies to attract not only the residents of Tullahoma, but of the surrounding sub-regional communities as well.

 In October 2015, Mr. Miller advised the SBDC that the financing for his project had been approved, after lengthy negotiations with the Lender and the previous owner.  The total deal was for $428,000, a $300,000 loan and a $128,000 equity injection by the Millers.  Fast Jack’s currently employs four full time employees, and twenty part time.  The restaurant has historically been a civic pillar of the community, and Mr. Miller will continue this tradition by offering free meals to the homeless, support local artists by providing them with free wall space, and have a strong commitment to local, independent breweries.  The business has numerous growth opportunities.  This would include the build-out of the now vacant second story for utilization as a premier event space for the area, along with the possibility of adding a rooftop deck to the downstairs bar.

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