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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Luke Christian Surcheros

Luke Christian

Founder & CEO


Location: Alpharetta

Founded: 2007

Industry: Restaurant

In 2007, Luke Christian risked everything to open his first restaurant. “I put all the money I had into buying used restaurant equipment from a business that went under, moved in with my parents and worked around the clock in that first year,” he said. He was the repairman, line cook and cleaning crew.

“The simple reason why I did this is that I needed a job, so I made one up for myself,” said Christian. “The larger reason was to make a difference in my hometown community – to create jobs, bring prosperity to others and to create a place where friends and family could gather to eat some great tasting food and spend time together with loved ones.”

Surcheros Fresh Mex is a rising star in the restaurant and hospitality sector, specializing in Fresh Mex cuisine. As an emerging brand poised for rapid expansion, Surcheros exists at the intersection of big taste and bold flavors with an emphasis on Southern hospitality and a passion for community.

As the founder and CEO, Christian has expanded the brand to 26 locations across the Southeast with continued growth on the horizon both in Georgia and beyond. The system includes both corporate and franchise locations. In 2022, Christian relocated the brand headquarters to metro Atlanta. The brand plans to have 100 units in operation over the next five years and surpass the $50 million mark in revenue by the end of 2024.

“With 25 years of restaurant experience under his belt, Luke Christian is a trusted leader with the vision and knowledge to build on a franchise’s foundation and future success,” said his colleagues. “Apart from industry and business expertise, he is also revered by his support teams as a considerate and hands-on, true servant leader.”

His efforts have gained him recognition as the Entrepreneur of the Year from the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce, the South Georgia State College Alumni of the Year and an invite as the featured panelist at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago.

It’s his leadership style that has gained him recognition from his staff. “I believe the most important attribute of a successful leader today is to lead with empathy and integrity,” said Christian. “I also mix in adaptability and embrace diversity to help foster a positive, world class culture.”

Although Christian is the founder and leader of the organization, he said he certainly doesn’t have all of the answers. “What I do know, though, is how to build a team and identify the gaps and hired category experts to guide me along the way.”

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My kids will tell you I can grab anything that falls off of the counter before it hits the floor, but I like to think its my knack for feeling out a community and if a Surcheros restaurant would be successful in this location. I don’t just look at the car counts or the price per square foot -sure those things do come into play- but I look to see if the community would embrace us. Would we be able to make a difference and create jobs and better the lives of those around us? Are we bringing fresh food options to an area without? So far, I am beyond proud to say I have not made an incorrect choice.


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