January 19, 2023
Entrepreneur feeds, guides a growing community
A job at George’s Restaurant has been part of the practical education for generations of college students in Waco. The value of reliability and a positive attitude, the necessity of teamwork and the spirit of doing a job well for its own sake are lessons that apply in life many different ways. The spirit behind that influence is a trait the restaurant’s owner and his friends at the bank share.
Sammy Citrano lives a life of service, dependability and generous good will. He’s earned a reputation for teaching and sharing. His positive influence has improved thousands of lives. As the owner of George’s Restaurant, he’s been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in Waco for decades now, and his business nourishes the heart of a thriving community. The principles that led him to success are the same that guide The First National Bank of Central Texas every day. The bank has been on his side from the beginning, and the two have grown together.
Sammy got his start in food service at the age of 9, delivering his aunt’s sandwiches to be sold at convenience stores in his home town of Beaumont. Lessons that began his first day on the job still apply. Teamwork, honesty and a spirit of service made him an employee to rely on, and he took those traits with him as he grew. He waited tables in high school and in college, and he recognized his own passion for the business early on. The friendly interaction with customers and the camaraderie with fellow employees appealed to him. The opportunity to refine processes and improve service intrigued him. Every shift was a learning opportunity, and his insight and understanding of the business quickly followed. He found work with a growing restaurant company while still a college student, and he became president of a six-restaurant group in Huntsville, Tyler and College Station by the time he was 25.
His own successful restaurant ventures led to his purchase of George’s in 1993. Sammy’s guidance expanded the restaurant’s appeal without losing the connection to its roots. George’s has served cold beer and comfort food in a friendly atmosphere since 1930. Sammy’s direction put George’s in position to do more of what it already did best. That growth brought new life to the George’s legend, and the restaurant is now a Waco staple. Two restaurant locations in Waco plus a significant catering wing mean their food and the interaction it inspires feed hundreds of families every day.
“George’s is a Waco institution,” said Joe Barrow, Chairman and CEO of FNBCT. “It is known for great food, great service and a commitment to our community.”
That commitment has helped Sammy and his company help the community in many ways.
“We have employed more than 17,000 people in Waco since 1993,” Citrano said.
A job at George’s has been part of the practical education for generations of college students. Mentoring young people at the outset of their lives has let Sammy share work and life lessons that reach well beyond a restaurant’s practical demands. The value of reliability and a positive attitude, the necessity of teamwork and the spirit of doing a job well for its own sake are lessons that apply in life many different ways. The spirit behind that influence is a trait Sammy and his friends at the bank share.
“It’s a job where you feel you’re involved in their life,” Sammy said. “You know you’ve made a difference for them. You’ve helped them in ways that will benefit them forever. That’s how Joe Barrow and the rest of the staff manage FNBCT.”
“As a community bank, there’s nothing more important than helping real people in our community,” said Russell Jones, Vice President of FNBCT’s Woodway-Hewitt branch. “It gives us great pride from the perspective of helping Waco develop and thrive.”
“We are proud to work hand-in-hand with Sammy and his team to help George’s with their financial needs,” Joe Barrow said. “These types of partnerships are the bedrock of The First National Bank of Central Texas.”
Sammy knows he has a bank on his side in FNBCT. What could that same assurance do for you?