Steve McManus, a Distinguished Alumni of The Citadel, joined Spartan Food Systems in 1970 as Manager of Hardee’s of Alcoa, TN. Spartan was the first and largest franchisee of Hardee’s Restaurants. He held several positions and was promoted to Vice President of Operations in 1984. He was then promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Flagstar in 1989 and in 1991 promoted to Executive Vice President of Restaurant Operations, where he was responsible for all restaurant operations for Hardee’s, Denny’s, Quincy’s Family Steakhouses, and El Pollo Loco.
In 1995, Steve joined Hardee’s Food System, Inc. and became President and Chief Executive Officer. He resigned from that position in June 1997 when Hardee’s was acquired by CKE Restaurants from IMASCO Limited. In 1998 he became co-owner of the landmark Beacon Drive-In restaurant in Spartanburg, SC. After leaving Hardee’s, he established several LLCs, including real estate development, Henry’s Restaurant trademark, Beacon Drive-In, Southeastern Development, and owner of real estate in downtown Asheville.
Steve is quite active with various companies, including Board participation at Mountain Bank Board, Hendersonville NC; Founding Board Member of Mountain 1st Bank, Hendersonville, NC; The Citadel Foundation Board; and IMASCO Limited in Montreal, Canada.