Tom Galvin

A goal-oriented, self-motivated, high-energy, innovator with over 30 years of diverse experience in over 900 projects in food facilities and creative design in 22 countries. Organized several design and development teams for prototypes in main dining and kitchen areas. Works effectively both independently and as a member of a team.

Galvin Design Group is an International Design Firm that specializes in development of restaurants, theme restaurants, theme parks, hotels, schools, food courts, medical, entertainment and chain accounts.

Principal & CEO [ April 1999 – present ]Developed several ‘Concepts of the Year’ by Nations Restaurant News Magazine which include Stonewood Grill & Tavern[2002], Smokey Bones [2003], Thaifoons [2004], and Seasons 52 [2006]July and December 2003 featured in Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine as Project of the Month.In 2003, Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine featured Flagler Dawg House Cafe.

May of 2001, featured in Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine as Project of the Month.

Hard Rock Cafe’ International
Manager of Purchasing and Food Facilities Design [ June 1997- December 1998 ]
Facilities Designer [ December 1996 – June 1997 ]

Department Organization Responsibility

  • Organized the centralization of the food facility design group. Integrated U.S. and international Café concepts to allow operations the flexibility to incorporate theme food concepts consistent with present and future menus.
  • Developed internal controls and procedures to interface with kitchen designs in order to accommodate food facility design concepts.
  • Established an internal design focus group to coordinate the efforts of culinary, operations, and creative in order to meet long term expansion objectives for U.S. and international Cafes.
  • Established centralized purchasing for all new café equipment concepts in U.S. and international markets.
  • Developed uniform design criteria and specifications for all Cafes; U.S. and international.
  • Construction project management – Hard Rock Live project – 130,000-sq. ft. Café and live concert auditorium.


  • Historically the company managed with a total decentralized system. The direction to change to a centrally controlled design group allowed the company to realize bottom line savings of over Five Million Dollars within the first two years of formation.
  • Established definitive equipment specifications, assuring uniformity in food preparation and service for all new cafes.
  • Developed a partnership relationship with key vendors, which encouraged competitive pricing for a higher standard of quality equipment.
  • Part of special task force charged with designing three dynamic consumer associated theme concepts, one being a hotel. Currently in development status.
  • Set up and wrote the procedures for the Hard Rock Café Purchasing Department (worldwide).

Darden Restaurants, Inc. [ formerly General Mills Restaurants ] 
Senior Food Facilities Designer for Olive Garden Italian Restaurant [ 1985 – 1996 ]
Senior Food Facilities Designer | Red Lobster Seafood Restaurant [ 1994-1995 ]
Project Manager
Food Facilities Designer for Olive Garden Restaurant [ 1992-1994 ]
Food Facilities Designer for Red Lobster Seafood Restaurant [ 1985-1992 ]

  • Developed concepts and innovative designs for Red Lobster and Olive Garden Restaurants throughout the U.S., Canada, and Japan.
  • Developed Urban Deli Concept, 2200 sq. feet in an upscale line/strip center an Italian merchandising market and eatery, including 40 seats and display kitchen.
  • Developed a commissary in Toronto, Canada to reduce labor to create a superior product, saving Olive Garden (Canada) $10,000,000 for the first year and $4,000,000 every year thereafter.
  • Developed Olive Garden café designed for malls, college campuses, and airport food courts. Each unit averages $1,000,000 to $1,300,000 in sales annually in an 800 sq. foot area.
  • Developed a new expanded sauté station for Olive Garden to double cooking capacity. A savings of $750,000 per year on equipment, which resulted in a chain-wide rollout.
  • Special assignment for future Red Lobster program. Designed and developed all creative and food service drawings. This was the first major kitchen remodel in the company history. Managed and installed the $1,000,000 project as Project Manager, co-Construction Manager.
  • Developed a pumping system for portion control to dispense salad dressings and sauces. Red Lobster is the first major casual dining chain to experiment with this type of dispensing system. A potential savings of over $10,000,000 a year chain wide.
  • Set standards and developed purchasing programs to coordinate purchasing for all food facilities equipment.
  • Developed the first employee pivoting action self-contained plate up table to reduce steps and enable staff to perform culinary arts for upgrading plate presentation.
  • Developed Seafood To Go prototype which was rolled out in 125 restaurants nationwide.
  • Developed creative design and food service plans for the conversion of 22 Seafood Broiler Restaurants to Red Lobster Restaurants in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, California.
  • Kent State University – one of the first campuses to develop and implement a food court concept.



Greece Architectural and Design Study | View in the GDG Theatre
Spain Architectural and Design Study | View in the GDG Theatre

Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida
Senior Fellowship

Mexico Architectural and Design Study | View in the GDG Theatre

New Orleans Architectural and Design Study

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration | Ithaca, NY
Professional Development Program | Food Facilities Development and Design

General Electric Lighting Institute | Cleveland, OH
Professional Development Program | Lighting and Design

1981 – 1984
Kent State University | Kent, Ohio
Masters Program in Architecture
Concentration on restaurant and kitchen design and engineering

1976 – 1981
Bowling Green State University | Bowling Green, OH
Bachelor of Liberal Studies | Architectural Interiors and Theatrical Design

  • 1998 to Present- Serves on Advisory Board at Kent State University for the Hotel and Hospitality School.
  • 1998 – Elected as Board Member into the World Wide International Board of Directors for the Foodservice Consultant Society International (FCSI).
  • 1988 professional member of the Food Service Consultants Society.
  • 1996 Innovation Award, Red Lobster
  • 1997 President’s Award, Hard Rock Cafe
  • 2001 Golden Brick Award, Award of Design Excellence – The Boheme Restaurant
  • 2001 Golden Brick Award, Award of Design Excellence – Concha Me Crazy
  • 2001 Young Lions Award for Hard Rock Cafe Kitchen Design.
  • 2002 Eagle Award – Associated Builders & Contractors, Excellence in Design & Construction Fiddlers Creek
  • 2002 Professional Member Themed Entertainment Association, Professional member.
  • 2002 Designed Concept of the Year, Stonewood Tavern & Grill – Nations Restaurant News
  • 2003 Designed Concept of the Year, Smokey Bones – Nations Restaurant News
  • 2003 Aurora Award – Season’s 52 Restaurant
  • 2003 Extraordinary Partner Award – Season’s 52 – Darden Restaurants
  • 2003 Honorable Mention – Facility Design Project of the Year – Flagler Dawg House Cafe – Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine.
  • 2006 Designed Concept of the Year, Seasons 52, Nations Restaurant News
  • 2006 Designed Building of America Award – The Mansion on Forsyth, Savannah, GA
  • 2007 to Present – Instructor at the Rosen College – University of Central Florida
  • 2008 Aurora Award – University Village – Tampa, FL
  • 2008 Grand Aurora Award – University Village – Tampa, FL
  • 2009 Grand Aurora Award – Classic Residence Hyatt – Boca Raton, FL
  • 2009 Grand Aurora Award – Kafe Kalik, Orlando, FL
  • 2009 Grand Aurora Award – Classic Residence – Hyatt Boca (IL) – Boca Raton, FL
  • 2009 AIA Allied Member #40000001
  • 2011 Thea Award – Outstanding New Theme Park Land – Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, FL
  • 2011 Thea Award – Outstanding – Integrated of Retail, Food & Beverage Experiences – Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, FL
  • 2011 Honorable Mention – Facility Design Project of the Year – Vince Carter’s Restaurant – Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine
  • Layout and design of over 900 food facilities. Equipment valued at $400,000,000.
  • Redesigned and specified the back of house for Hard Rock Café. This allowed the company bottom line savings of over $5,000,000 within the first two years of formation. The new design gives a 7-10 year equipment life span whereas the previous design was only a 2-4 year equipment life span.
  • Hard Rock Live – the newly innovative kitchen design allowed ticket times to decrease from 45 minutes to 12 minutes. The increase of sales and profitability is four times greater than the previous layout.
  • Developed a commissary (cook chill system) for the Olive Garden Toronto. The financial impact was on labor savings at each store, purchasing food in bulk, and producing a superior product, which increased sales. The savings for the first year was $10,000,000 and $4,000,000 for every year thereafter.
  • Developed and designed for the Olive Garden chain a sauté station. Expanded the capabilities in the same footprint with cost savings of $750,000 the first year.
  • Developed a pumping system to portion control salad dressings and sauces for Red Lobster. Potential savings were $10,000,000 per year, chain wide
  • The Hard Rock Café’ Test Kitchen and kitchens at Hard Rock Live in Orlando, FL was featured on the Travel Channel in Inside Universal Hard Rock Orlando.
  • The Grand Bohemian Hotel (Orlando, FL) Kitchen & Bar was featured on the Travel Channel in ‘Inside Orlando’s Resorts”.
  • The Today Show broadcasted out of the Season’s 52 – Orlando, FL
  • The Today Show broadcasted out of Harry Potter – Universal Studios – Orlando, FL


Professional Organizations & Accomplishments

Food Service Consultants Society International (FCSI) elected chair elect The Americas Division

AIA Allied Member #40000001

Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI), elected to the Americas Board.

AIA Liaison representing Foodservice Consultants Society International.

Instructor at the Rosen College at the University of Central Florida

Professional Membership in Themed Entertainment Association

NAFEM Liaison representing the Foodservice Consultants Society International

Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI), Professional Member No 700976
Elected to the Worldwide International Board of Directors

Kent State University
Member of the Advisory Board for the Hotel and Hospitality School

Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) Professional Member #00408

President’s Award for Hard Rock Cafe
Developed uniform kitchen design, purchasing procedures and organized a formal design group.

President’s Innovation Award for Red Lobster
Kitchen design for the Red Lobster 2000 project.

Boggy Creek Gang Camp, Darden Foundation Project
Kitchen design and coordinated the donation of kitchen equipment.

Interior Design License for the State of Florida.
License #0000408


Additional Activities

Walt Disney World Marathon | Orlando, FL

Rome Marathon | Rome, Italy
Team American Diabetes Association

Walt Disney World Marathon | Orlando, FL

Olympic Torch Run
Selected to run in Olympic Torch Relay

Walt Disney World Marathon | Orlando, FL
Team Captain for Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants Employee
Club Co-Chairman of Runners Club