Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

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Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
Industry Restaurants
Founded 1971 in Chicago, Illinois
Founder Rich Melman & Jerry A. Orzoff
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, USA
Key people
Rich Melman, co-founder
Jerry A. Orzoff, co-founder
Revenue Increase$300 million (2005)
Increase$50 million (2005)
Number of employees
5,000 (2005)
Website www.leye.com

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE) is a group of approximately 90 restaurants founded by Rich Melman and Jerry A. Orzoff in Chicago, IL in 1971.


Wildfire Grill

The first restaurant was R.J. Grunts in Lincoln Park, opened on June 10, 1971.[1]

The company lists nine original partners: Bill Higgins, Melman, Bill Frost, Bob Wattel, Charles Haskell, Orzoff, Marvin Magid, and Fred Joast.[2] By 1976 the company had 5 restaurants.[3] The partners continued expanding the company's network of restaurants. By the mid-1980s, the company employed over 2,000 people and had annual revenues of $40 million.[3] Since its founding the company has opened 130 restaurants, with 70 concepts.[4]

The restaurants are unique and vary in price, theme, and cuisine. However, they generally combine theatrical flair and good value.[5] LEYE currently owns, licenses or manages more than 100 establishments in Illinois, California, Arizona, Maryland, Virginia, Minnesota and Nevada, including Wildfire, Petterino's, RPM Italian, RPM Steak, Beatrix, Oyster Bah, Shaw's Crab House, and Everest.[2] Also among its creations are two restaurants in the Paris Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Eiffel Tower and Mon Ami Gabi (an expansion of the flagship location in Chicago), Big Bowl, and L2O.[6] The newest, opened in June 2016, Ēma in Chicago, Illinois.

As of 2000, LEYE had 38 partners, 45 concepts, and 4,000 employees. It owns, operates and licenses 90 restaurant venues, in the United States. It has separate restaurant consulting and restaurant development companies.[7] The food court at Water Tower Place is among its operations.[8] 1999 annual revenue estimates ranged from $145 to over $200 million.[6][7] 2005 revenue estimates were $300 million, with 5000 employees and approximately $50 million in net earnings.[4]


Lettuce Entertain You restaurants include:[4]

  • Antico Posto
  • Beatrix
  • Big Bowl
  • Big Bowl Chinese Express
  • Bub City
  • Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!
  • Community Canteen
  • Di Pescara
  • Don & Charlie’s
  • Eiffel Tower
  • El Segundo Sol
  • Ēma
  • Everest
  • Foodlife
  • Frankie's Scaloppine & Fifth Floor Pizzeria
  • Hub 51
  • Intro
  • Il Porcellino [1]
  • Joe's Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab[9] - an offshoot of Joe's Stone Crab in Miami
  • Krispy Kreme (franchisee)
  • L. Woods [2]
  • Maggiano's Little Italy (consultant)
  • Magic Pan Crepe Stand
  • M Burger
  • M Street Kitchen
  • Mity Nice Grill
  • Mon Ami Gabi
  • Nacional 27
  • Naoki Sushi
  • Osteria Via Stato
  • Oyster Bah
  • Petterino’s
  • Pizzeria Via Stato
  • Reel Club
  • R.J. Grunt's
  • RPM Italian
  • RPM Steak
  • Scoozi!
  • Stella Barra Pizzeria
  • Stella Barra Pizzeria Santa Monica
  • Stella Barra Pizzeria Hollywood
  • Shaw’s Crab House
  • Stripburger
  • Tokio Pub[1]
  • Three Dots and a Dash
  • Tru
  • Tucci Benucch
  • Twin City Grill
  • Wildfire
  • Wow Bao

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Zeldes, Leah A. (June 2, 2011). "Happy 40th anniversary, Lettuce Entertain You". Dining Chicago. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "The Lettuce Entertain You Story". Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc. Archived from the original on February 7, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b Wilson, Mark R. (2005). ""Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc.", Encyclopedia of Chicago". Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved February 2, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b c Carpenter, Dave (July 20, 2006). "Restaurateur sees salad days ahead". MSNBC.com (Associated Press story also published on CBSNews.com). Retrieved February 2, 2007. 
  5. ^ Kleiman, Dena (February 13, 1991). "Retro Magnate Moves East". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 4, 2008. 
  6. ^ a b Cebrzynski, Gregg (January 2000). "Richard Melman - chief executive officer of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc". Nation's Restaurant News. Archived from the original on January 29, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b Sheridan, Margaret (2000). "Richard Melman on Savoring Peace of Mind". Restaurant & Institutions Magazine. Archived from the original on April 28, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2007. 
  8. ^ Olvera, Jennifer (July 2008). "Block Party:After years of highs and lows — and plenty of wheeling and dealing — the first new building at Block 37 is set to rise this month". Chicago Social. p. 68. 
  9. ^ http://www.leye.com/files/LEYE_Restaurants.pdf