Jim Sauter is vice president of the Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern and operating partner of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. Working closely with president and founder Gary Callicoat, Sauter provides strategic direction for the brand and leads a team of managers and directors who oversee all restaurant operations – from identifying new site locations to the overall expansion of Rusty Bucket.
Sauter first joined the Cameron Mitchell Restaurants team in 2004 and held numerous positions including a pantry and grill cook at Cap City Grandview, general manager at Cap City Gahanna and assistant general manager for Mitchell’s Ocean Club.
He transitioned to working for Rusty Bucket in 2007. There, Sauter’s positions ranged from restaurant general manager to director of operations, and now, vice president. Under the thoughtful leadership of Callicoat and Sauter, the nationally-recognized brand has received several accolades including Technomic’s Top 500 Leading U.S. Chain Restaurants; FSR 50’s Top 10 Fast Growing, High-Performing Chains; and Restaurant Business’ Future 50 list. Rusty Bucket also was named by Nation’s Restaurant News as a Breakout Brand.
With three decades of experience in the restaurant industry, Sauter is a shining example of CMR’s associate-first culture. He was recognized with the CMR General Manager of the Year Award in 2006 for his inspiring leadership, as well as the prestigious Bucket Life Award in 2012, which honors an outstanding associate who embodies the company culture. Sauter also is an active member of the National Restaurant Association ProStart program, where he mentors young students who are interested in pursuing restaurant careers, as well as the Ohio Restaurant Association.
Sauter always makes time to ensure his associates have what they need and can deliver Rusty Bucket’s genuine hospitality to guests at all times. He enjoys the people, culture, camaraderie and trust that has been built from his many years with the company.
Sauter believes there are four key ingredients to be successful in the restaurant industry: choose a healthy environment that offers leadership development; work hard and learn from as many people as possible; when people step down, step up; and maintain a healthy work/life balance.
When asked the greatest lesson he has learned, Sauter responded, “I suppose it would have something to do with resilience. I’ve learned so many lessons and some the hard way. When times get tough; don’t give up, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Encountering difficulty doesn’t indicate you’re off-track towards your destiny, it only indicates it’s not going to be easy, so keep at it.”
Sauter is a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently resides in Dublin with his wife and two children. Outside of work, he spends time with family, stays fit, watches and coaches sports, tries new foods, supports philanthropic organizations, fishes, and enjoys music from his favorite artists.