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About Us

Own Your Own is a small team of bootstrappers with a big vision! Starting from the ground up, this team transformed into skilled web builders, event coordinators, PR strategists, marketing gurus, and restaurateurs to launch OYO’s first Nationwide Restaurant Competition in the fall of 2023.

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Initially, we believed that attracting applicants to our competition would be the most challenging aspect. However, we were thrilled and humbled to receive an overwhelming response of over 500 applicants, and soon realized the hardest part was ahead of us- choosing just one. Throughout this journey, we’ve been fortunate to meet countless incredible and highly qualified individuals. The task of narrowing down the pool grew more challenging each time- a true testament to the talent and dedication of the participants in our competition.

After thorough consideration, involving multiple rounds of questions, phone calls, and Zoom interviews, we selected 24 applicants to participate in the culinary showdown of a lifetime in Burgaw, North Carolina. The competitors traveled to Burgaw where they prepared and served their signature dish to over 200 locals, who voted for their favorites. Only 12 applicants advanced to the next set of challenges.

Over the following 10 days, the remaining competitors vied for a spot in the final two. They presented detailed business plans to a panel of experts, tackled back-of-house and front-of-house challenges in esteemed local restaurants, and culminated their journey by presenting a head-to-head three-course meal for 75 people during the finale dinner.While only one person could be pronounced the winner of the very first OYO competition, we are working to make this entrepreneurial dream a reality for others in small towns across the country.

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