Gretta Jackson just became the first Black woman to own an Outback Steakhouse restaurant, reports Fox 2 and Afro-Tech. As a Detroit native, Jackson is making her city proud with her new business venture.
“My roots definitely run deep in Detroit, 6 Mile and Davison. Raised by my grandparents, raised in the church, and raised in love,” Jackson said. “Went to Detroit Public Schools and graduated from Detroit Northern in 1993.”
Jackson began her education journey while raising a new baby, something that she says pushed her to go harder.
“I was working 30 hours a week, carrying 12 credit hours and had a newborn baby. I got pregnant with her my first semester of college. So, that made me have to work a little bit harder to do some of the things. Because I now had two people to provide for.”
She began working at Outback Steakhouse while interning in the corporate world and attending school, all at the age of 23.
From server to bartender to assistant manager to front house manager and finally senior manager, Jackson worked herself up the ranks at the steakhouse restaurant.
“…After starting with [Outback], I quickly decided that this could possibly be a career choice. They create an environment where you don’t have to be afraid to be yourself. You don’t have to be afraid to grow and develop.”
Now she hopes that her story can inspire other young women to pursue their dreams.
“Literally 19 years in the making, no shortcuts, nothing was given to me. I literally worked my way through every position, came up in the ranks,” Jackson said. “When you’re so focused on you and what you’re trying to do, you don’t always take the time to realize or understand how it’s going to affect other people. And I did not and could not have imagined the impact that my success or my own personal success would have on others.”
Today, Jackson is a ceiling smasher as the first Black woman to own an Outback Steakhouse serving as the managing partner of Outback in Roseville. Michigan.