Jim Demos' love for the restaurant business began at 9 years old in his father Pete's family restaurant. Jim's eclectic talents and interests took him into the entertainment industry where he worked in theatres all across the south. After marrying his wife Doris and beginning a family, Jim desired a stability that the theatre could not give. In 1972, he returned to his roots and purchased his first restaurant franchise, a Western Sizzlin'. In the years that followed, Jim bought and successfully operated eight Western Sizzlin' franchises in the Nashville area before selling them in 1989 to begin work on a new creative restaurant concept.
The very first Demos' Restaurant was born out of Jim and Doris' desire to offer exceptional food and service at affordable prices. Since then, the Demos' franchise has grown to four locations across Middle Tennessee with acclaim from patrons and critics alike.
The dream that Jim and Doris once had has been realized in Demos' Restaurants.
"We don't sell food here. We sell how people feel when they leave here," he says. "We sell the total experience."
Peter Demos entered the family business at the age of 12 as a dishwasher at his dad's Western Sizzlin' restaurant. From there his experience in the food industry continued to expand as he got the opportunity to learn every possible aspect of the business.
He would eventually pursue studies in law at the University of Missouri before finally deciding that his passion was only fully engaged in the exhilaration of the food industry.
In 1999, Peter returned to Demos' with the single goal of growing the organization.
Peter's vision for Demos' is clear and simple. "We want the customer to leave in a better mood than when he or she came in. People go out to eat because of the total experience, not just for the food. We always think about how we want the customer to describe us, and so no matter what, we always try hard to do the right thing, with the food, with the service, and with the value. "
Just like Peter Demos, Felicia started her career in the restaurant business as a dishwasher in Jim's Western Sizzlin'. Her early success in the dish room would move her to other positions, eventually completing the full tour of every single job in the restaurant. Felicia worked the front of the house, the kitchen, the meat room, the commissary and in the office. She understood the restaurant business inside and out.
A few years later, her love for travel would compel her to take a job with Wright Travel as an agent, which eventually meant a move to the Orlando area. Due to industry changes and her love for family, Felicia eventually moved back to Murfreesboro to come back to the food industry. She now works in Demos' corporate headquarters in Murfreesboro, TN.
"This is my 'baby', you might say, and I really care deeply about the job we do here every day," Felicia says. "And, I enjoy very much working with my family. We get along well, are honest and direct with each other, and use a lot of humor to keep our perspective."
The late Doris Demos was a beloved and integral member of the Demos' family and management team, and is remembered with love and respect by Demos employees, managers, customers and vendors.
Perhaps she is best known for the strict customer service requirements she implemented throughout all of the Demos' restaurants, and the on-the-job direction and training she gave employees for so many years.
“I brought the mechanics to Demos’ and Doris brought the heart,” Jim says of his beloved wife. “Doris had common sense, her own philosophies.”
“She trained and supervised our employees just the way she raised Peter and myself,” says Felicia. “She gave a lot, she expected a lot, and she taught us how to do the right thing and make people feel comfortable.”
“My father taught me how to run a business, but my mother taught me how to manage a restaurant while caring for the people who work hard in it,” Peter said. “There is rarely a day that goes by that I do not wish I could get her advice.”