Celebrating 25 Years of ‘Yes Is The Answer’

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) celebrated its 25th anniversary on October 5 with a full day of activities to say “thank you” to the central Ohio community.

“It is an incredible honor to give back to the community that has embraced our company for 25 years and provided the foundation for thousands of our associates to build meaningful and rewarding careers,” said Cameron Mitchell, CMR founder and CEO. “I am proud of our company’s growth and our talented team and recognize our success could not have been realized without Columbus cheering us on the entire way.”

CMR 25

Thanking the Central Ohio Community

To mark the anniversary, CMR will be making a $25,000 donation to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank as well as distributing 500 box lunches each to Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries and the Homeless Families FoundationIn addition, CMR associates made hot meals for residents of LSS Faith Mission for breakfast, Faith on 8thfor lunch, and then end the day at LSS Faith Mission and the YMCA Van Buren Shelter to provide hot meals for dinner.

Since 1993, CMR has donated millions of dollars in support of worthy causes in central Ohio as well as its workforce development. In February 2018, CMR pledged $2.5 million to Columbus State Community College to go toward its new 80,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts building. Mitchell Hall is expected to be completed by fall 2019, and will more than double the program’s current capacity.

In addition, CMR is developing a new concept in the Italian Village neighborhood of Columbus, the Budd Dairy Food Hall, nurturing the next generation of restaurateurs.   “Central Ohio embraced me as a young restaurant entrepreneur and I want to do the same for others,” said Mitchell. “The Budd Dairy Food Hall will position emerging restaurant leaders to realize a similar opportunity.”

Thanking CMR Associates

Known for its “associates-first” culture, CMR also values internal growth opportunities for the restaurant leaders of tomorrow, recently launching the Young Leaders Initiative, an innovative program with 24 associates selected to provide input and perspective on company operations and new projects. Several of last year’s participants have since been promoted to leadership positions, including general manager or executive chef.

To say “thank you” to associates who work each day to deliver genuine hospitality, CMR will be kicking off its 25thanniversary celebration by closing all central Ohio CMR locations at 8:00 p.m. on Sept. 30 so all associates may attend an anniversary party. In addition, CMR will offer a $25,000 associate giveaway during the month of October where associates will receive candy bars with silver tickets valued at $1, $50 or $100.

Thanking CMR’s Fans

As part of the 25thanniversary activities, CMR would like to thank its loyal online subscribers across central Ohio. An offer will be emailed to all current subscribers on October 5. In addition, guests who dine at a CMR restaurant on October 5 for dinner will receive a milkshake cookie as a tribute to the company’s icon, a milkshake, which underscores CMR’s guiding principle: “The answer is yes. What’s the question?”

From Sept. 28-Oct. 31, guests are invited to take selfies with a life-size cardboard cutout of Mitchell at CMR restaurants across central Ohio for a chance to win dinner for a year using the hashtag #CamSaysYes.  The cutouts will appear at each restaurant at different times during the month of October.

Leaving a Legacy 

Cameron Mitchell opened his flagship restaurant Cameron’s American Bistro on October 5, 1993. Since that time, the independent, privately-held restaurant group has grown to operate 32 award-winning restaurants under 15 different concepts, including the nationally-acclaimed Ocean Prime brand and Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, a premier caterer in central Ohio, which operates five exclusive event venues in Columbus. 

Mitchell, a renowned visionary in the restaurant industry, will share his story and the wisdom he has gained through the years later this fall with the release of his new book “Yes is the Answer. What is the Question?” available November 13. Pre-orders are being accepted at www.YesIstheAnswerBook.com.


“On behalf of all of us at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, thank you to our associates, investors, guests, purveyors, and our communities in which we serve, for your continued support and patronage for the past 25 years,” said Mitchell. “We look forward to serving you for many years to come.”

Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine profiled CMR here