Tim McGraw sings a song titled Humble and Kind. If “Humble and Kind” was a person, it would be Gloria Starling. These words embody who she is at home, at work and in the Fort Worth community. Rarely seen without a smile on her face, Starling is one of Fort Worth’s shining stars.
Born in Mexico City, Starling’s father moved the family to Richardson just as Starling was beginning high school. Her career in the restaurant business began at a young age and quite by accident. She went with her brother for an interview he had at a local restaurant. After his interview, the manager offered her a position as a host. Excited at the prospect, she persuaded her father to allow her to work on weekends. Once she received that permission, she made a deal with the manager – if he hired her brother, she would accept the host position, but at a rate of $10 per hour instead of the $7 that had been offered. When she received a raise and a new position the following summer, Starling knew she had found her career path.
Starling has now worked for The Capital Grille (TCG) since 2006 and has full working knowledge of how a restaurant operates top to bottom. Her career with TCG includes running the bar at the Dallas location, overseeing the wine program at the Plano location, assisting with the opening of Capital Grille Mexico and her current position as managing partner of the Fort Worth restaurant. Starling loves the culture of diversity and inclusion found in and practiced by the ownership of TCG and brings those attributes to the Fort Worth location.
As the leader of a diverse team, Starling believes in training and developing every team member, every shift, every day. “I strive to provide a team-oriented, nurturing environment that allows people to grow and become the best they can be through positive leadership, encouragement and guidance,” says Starling. She understands that the restaurant business can be daunting if you haven’t been in it, but says she sees it as a challenge and is always thinking, “What can I learn next.” This mindset has helped her learn, work and excel in all positions and she works diligently to pass this along to those who work for her. A working mom, Starling prioritizes her life around that of her son, Gabriel Starling. This is made easier because TCG company promotes and supports work-life balance. She and her management team meet once a month, sometimes for as long as three hours, to work on their respective schedules. It is important to her that she be present at her son’s activities, and she is just as supportive of her team doing the same. They all work around their respective personal calendars to ensure that the needs of their families are just as much a priority as the guests who visit The Capital Grille. This practice applies not just to the managers, but to the entire staff.
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