Since 1958, Lucian Dillingham has made groundbreaking strides as a pioneer in the foodservice industry. At the onset, he broke barriers, beginning his foodservice career as the first African American manager of Air Force Officer Clubs. In 1975, after successfully managing 20 Officer Clubs in Europe, Mr. Dillingham went on to become Director of Training, Commercial Foods Department, and Trade and Industry Instructor at the Howard Career Center in Wilmington, Delaware, where he earned the distinction of “Teacher of the Year” for his notable ability to prepare students for management in food and beverage service. After nine years of teaching, Mr. Dillingham bravely decided to re-inter the field as an entrepreneur and President of Dilgren Enterprises, Inc., becoming an east coast-based franchisee.
In 1990, Mr. Dillingham moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he launched an original concept, creating a hometown soul food favorite, Mo’ Better Chicken. With an award-winning taste and quality service, Dillingham landed a coveted concessions contract with the Georgia Dome, gaining exposure that widely popularized the brand. He was recognized by Georgia Dome management for “expertise in marketing, staff development and profound communications skills.” After opening four free standing units and perfecting a sophisticated management and communications system, Mr. Dillingham was invited to become a member of the elite league of airport concessionaires at the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport, becoming a Minority DBE Certified food and beverage operator. Since then, Mr. Dillingham has operated seven different concepts in the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson airport and currently owns and operates Nature’s Table Bistro, located in the international Concourse E.
With more than 12 years experience in the restaurant business, Dan Parsons epitomizes how hard work and perseverance lands an ambitious youth from humble beginnings to the seat of top level management. Starting out peeling onions, serving soup and washing dishes at a Nature’s Table Café franchise location in downtown Orlando, Florida, Mr. Parsons learned every aspect of the business, working his way up to store manager, steadily becoming an asset to the brand. Eventually, he began assisting Nature’s Table in store openings and by 2000, had helped open more than 25 locations across the United States and had managed five different corporate locations.
In early 2001, due to his success helping to build the brand and his contributions to successful operations, Mr. Parsons was promoted to Director of Operations. In 2004, Mr. Parsons was exposed to the airport concessions business when Nature’s Table opened a temporary location inside of the BWI airport in Baltimore, Maryland. In his remaining years with the brand, Mr. Parsons directed the opening of an additional 30 Nature’s Table Café locations. In 2006, Nature’s Table teamed up with Minority DBE Certified MBC Concessions, Inc., and was awarded its first airport contract in the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport. Through this union came the birth of a hybrid concept called Nature’s Table Bistro, a Nature’s Table geared towards high volume with a brighter European feel. Since January of 2007, Mr. Parsons has served as the Director of Operations for MBC Concessions, Inc., where he has contributed not only an impact on operations proven by maximized profit, but a strong dedication to building a hospitable team and quality product offerings.