Brian Schultz, Studio Movie Grill – Hero of Conscious Capitalism

Years ago, while working on a Senatorial campaign, Brian Schultz stopped into a combined movie theater and restaurant for a brief respite and immediately found his future business. Realizing how revolutionary this combination was, and how he could do a much better job of it, Schultz would go on to found Studio Movie Grill. Today, Schultz’s company makes $200 million a year through 24 theater-restaurants in 10 states. True to the philosophy of conscious capitalism, all the way Schultz has emphasized that “the more you give, the more you get.”

His company’s slogan, “Opening hearts and minds, one story at a time,” also reflects his stakeholder-centric vision. Schultz himself has elaborated that “Studio Movie Grill is a conscious, purpose-driven company” that serves five primary stakeholders “guests, community, vendors, team members, and investors.”

Towards that end, Schultz has tailored all of his locations towards providing the best customer experience, including initially fighting several years for the right to show first run movies. All of his theaters are equipped with the latest in surround sound, have highly-rated menus, and feature bar lounges for those who just want to eat or want a place to be before or after a show. He is also constantly experimenting, finding new ways to help customers have a good time such as bringing in live musicians or DJs.

A believer in paying his workers their fair due, Schultz also has a policy to ensure most of his workers get topped up to a $15 an hour minimum. Providing competitive wages and comprehensive training helps his employees perform well and his business keep its edge.

In addition, Studio Movie Grill, as well as Schultz himself, regularly donates and partners with nonprofits. Organizations can request support directly from SMG on their website, but the company also provides many specific events to help various causes. Examples include donating 10% of all proceeds to Houston’s hurricane relief efforts, an annual Red Balloon Ride and Run for the Children’s Medical Center, and fundraisers for the Children’s Heart Center.

SMG also provides specific showings for families who have children with special needs, events to collect prom dresses for the underprivileged, an annual drive for Autism Speaks, and many other causes. Schultz and his wife both serve on the board of Dallas’ Children’s Medical Center and founded Children’s Trust, which aims to help kids who are struggling with difficult circumstances.