CHICAGO, IL – September 2017 – Richard Melman, Founder and Chairman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE) announced today that his son, R.J. Melman will be taking over as President of the private restaurant group. Kevin Brown, current CEO and President will remain on as Chief Executive Officer. Richard Melman will remain as Founder and Chairman and will still be involved in the company.
“R.J. has developed himself and I have watched him grow over the years,” says Rich Melman. “This a natural transition for him and our organization. I am proud of the leader he has become.”
In 2001, R.J. graduated from the University of Kansas and over the past decade, he has played many roles within LEYE as well as serving as a consultant on restaurant projects outside of the company. During his tenure at Lettuce, he has opened more than 13 concepts along with his siblings and partners Jerrod and Molly Melman.
Residing in Chicago, R.J. is active within the local philanthropic and business communities as well as being a member of numerous of boards and committees, including the national board for The Kitchen Community and Board of Directors for Del Taco.
“I am excited for the opportunity and appreciate the support from both my family and fellow partners. This organization has been part of my family and I will work to not only continue but also enhance our culture, talent and innovation moving forward. I’m lucky to have such a great team of partners to work with on making sure that Lettuce is not only around, but vibrant and fun for the next 46 years,” said R.J. Melman.
R.J. and Kevin Brown will work hand-in-hand in keeping our focus on the guest, finding and maintaining great talent and using technology to strengthen our reputation.
“R.J. and I see this as a true partnership. We are more focused and closely aligned on what is best for our people and our guests,” says Kevin Brown. “He has already proven himself as a great leader and a skilled operator. Together, along with the senior management team, we are well equipped to continue to enhance our organization for the next generation.”
About Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
Based in Chicago, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc. (LEYE) is one of the nation’s leading independent restaurant groups, owning, managing or licensing more than 100 establishments in Illinois, Arizona, Minnesota, Maryland, Nevada, California, Washington D.C. and Virginia. The establishments range from the casual style and cuisine of the original restaurant, R.J. Grunts (opened in 1971), to the formal elegance of Michelin-starred Everest.