The changing of the guard at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises continued today with the pioneering multiconcept operation’s appointment of R.J. Melman as president.
R.J. is the eldest son of founder and leading concept creator Rich Melman.
The previous president, Kevin Brown, continues as CEO. Rich Melman remains chairman.
“R.J. has developed himself and I have watched him grow over the years,” Rich Melman said in a statement. “This a natural transition for him and our organization. I am proud of the leader he has become.”
R.J. (above) and his siblings, middle child Jerrod and their younger sister, Molly, have been active in the business for years, adding 13 concepts to the fold of the privately held company. LEYE’s business extends to 100 locations.
The eldest son joked to the Chicago Tribune that his father’s brainchild will largely develop in an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary fashion.
LEYE, which began four decades ago, has become a model for multiconcept operations across the country. Its concepts have also been parlayed by other operators into a number of chains, including Maggiano’s and Corner Bakery.