The George Minutaglio, Jr Carrabba’s Italian Grill First Generation Scholarship

This scholarship is dedicated to the legacy of George Minutaglio, Jr. whose passion for training, leadership and enriching the lives of others, lived at the center of everything he did.

“I believe in our ability as individuals to make life better for those around us.  I am a very positive individual that puts energy and passion into everything I do.  I recognize there is a lot to learn in this world and I look to surround myself with those that I can share life experiences with, so we can grow together.” – George Minutaglio, Jr.

The recipient of this scholarship should have the same unrelenting desire for the highest standards of accountability and doing what is right to reach their maximum potential.

George Minutaglio, Jr. was born in Brooklyn, NY.  One of four children, he grew up in his grandmother’s basement where his earliest memories were of her Italian cooking wafting through the home and the stories around it.   It was at his family table where he learned the art of hospitality and how to make people feel special.   During his high school years, he participated in varsity soccer, track and baseball, and was also nominated as the Secretary, Vice President and finally the President of his high school.

His career in the restaurant industry began when he took a part-time job as fry cook at Friendly’s in the evenings after school.  After successfully completing his bachelor’s in business management with honors from the University of Central Florida, he became a part-time employee for General Mills Restaurants, now Darden Restaurants, as a manager for Red Lobster. 

George thrived in experimental and fast paced environments and as a result, his restaurant location became a “lab location,” always exposed to the latest and greatest efforts to improve the casual dining experience, from new equipment roll outs to different menu items.  His nimbleness and acceptance of change for the benefit of the big picture promoted him to roles that specialized in reducing costs, improving operations and designing tools to enhance efficiencies which led him to be instrumental in the early development of the Bahama Breeze concept, all while repositioning Red Lobster and then on to become a founding partner of Smokey Bones Barbeque. 

At Smokey Bones, George took on the development of this concept from its beginning.  Here he led the entire training department, developed the training manuals and operating systems, led restaurant opening seminars and was seamlessly doing the work of 3 people.  After 18 years at Darden, George’s level of hospitality skillset was elevated once again when he accepted a position with a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse franchise group in Mobile, Alabama. 

The bar for fine dining verses casual dining was set and with his wheelhouse in place, he accepted a position as Vice President of Training and Strategic Integration for Outback Steakhouse at Bloomin’ Brands.  In this role, George was responsible for leading both the Strategic and Training teams to simplify operational execution and improve the overall efficiency of facilitating menu innovation and optimizing the existing investment.  He also led the design and implementation of all training activities to support the needs of the overall brand strategy, across almost 700 company-owned U.S. Outback locations.

In 2016, George landed his dream job – Vice President of Operations for Carrabba’s Italian Grill, a sister company to Outback Steakhouse at Bloomin’ Brands.  George’s deep passion for training and growing people seeped to the core of his personal principles and beliefs. These principles and beliefs perfectly aligned with those instilled by Carrabba’s founders Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola; that people are worthy of your best efforts and respect, that there is value in family and that people want to be a part of something they can be proud of. 

The story of Carrabba’s brought George back to where it all began for him at his grandmother’s table in Brooklyn, as Carrabba’s is a concept born of an Italian-American family whose roots and foundation paralleled with his own.  George lived and breathed these fundamentals throughout his career.  His legacy to maintain fully staffed restaurants, provide quality food and drink, exhibit blow-you-away service, create appealing ambiance, keep impeccably clean restaurants and thrive in community involvement will live on through the 20,000 adoring Carrabbamico’s he so selflessly led.    George has left a permanent mark on Carrabba’s with these celebrated operational successes.

Through all the achievements George enjoyed in his career, it was mainly about growing people.  Developing them, challenging them and having those fierce conversations that were difficult but necessary, made George an unparalleled leader.  Everyone who knew George never wanted to let him down.  When you thought you had enough ethics and integrity in your wheelhouse, George pulled even more out of you because he knew you could give more.

The George Minutaglio, Jr Carrabba’s Italian Grill First Generation Scholarship will live in perpetuity to benefit deserving and eligible first generation Carrabbamico’s and FIU college students who are the first in their family to attend college as George was, and seek to better the lives of others through a career in hospitality.  The Carrabba’s Italian Grill family is honored to present this scholarship to recipients that embody and live the principles and beliefs described above to continue George’s legacy.

Make A Gift Today


Give a single gift, or schedule recurring donations with your credit card by using our secure online giving form.

Please ensure you select The George Minutaglio, Jr Carrabba’s Italian Grill First Generation Scholarship as the Designation.

In Person

Come by our office at the Biscayne Bay Campus in room HM 215 to give in person or call us at 305.919.4505 to schedule a meeting.

By Mail

Send your check or money order made payable to the FIU Foundation, Inc. to:

FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality
& Tourism Management
Attn: Development Team
3000 N.E. 151st Street, HM 215
North Miami, FL 33181-3000

Please include your gift designation in the note section of your check.

Other Ways to Give

Leave A Legacy

A gift of appreciated stock or securities (stock, bonds, mutual funds) can offer you advantages while supporting the Chaplin School. Contact:

Simone Champagnie Executive Director, Development | 305.919.4810 |

Creative gift planning has emerged as a vital means of advancing the vast educational mission of the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Planned or deferred gifts allow the School to prepare confidently for the future and can provide you or your loved ones with lifetime income and significant tax benefits. These planned gifts allow you to make a significant commitment to ensure the future academic excellence. Gift planning options can include naming the School as a beneficiary in your will, retirement plan, life insurance policy, charitable trust, gift annuity, or by designating the school as a focus of your planned philanthropy. Contact:

Simone Champagnie Executive Director, Development | 305.919.4810 |

Develop A Partnership With The Chaplin School

To learn more about partnership opportunities, please contact:

Shivani Joshi, Senior Director of Industry Relations

305.919.4510 |

Faculty and Staff contributions do more than provide funds for programs and scholarships. Our Ignite giving rate is an impressive statement to alumni, corporations and foundations that FIU depends on for large gifts and grants.

Double Your Impact

Several employers sponsor gift-matching programs. If your company is eligible, you may be able to access the form through our Giving Page.

How to Apply for Scholarships

  • Go to the FIU AcademicWorks website.

  • Sign in with your MyAccounts username and password.

  • Complete the general application.

  • Select the Opportunities tab and select Ours. All available scholarships will be displayed.

  • Apply to The George Minutaglio, Jr Carrabba’s Italian Grill First Generation Scholarship.

  • Tip: A simple way to find all Chaplin School scholarships is to type “hospitality” in the search bar on the FIU AcademicWorks website.