Lettuce Entertain You
Head honcho: Richard Melman
Main turf: Chicago, IL
Restaurants: 99 restaurants
Markets: Illinois/Chicago, Minneapolis, California, DC and Scottsdale, AZ
Average food score: 21.9
Profile: Operating close to 100 restaurants all across the country is nothing to sneeze at, and founder and CEO Richard Melman of the Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You has over 60 partners helping him out, as well as his three kids. The group owns a wide range of restaurants from fine-dining concepts like L20 and Tru, to fast-casual chains like M Burger, Krispy Kreme and Big Bowl. For Melman, it all started with a single Chicago restaurant, a burger joint called RJ Grunt's, in 1971. Read up on the full family history here.
Upcoming: New French concept coming to Chicago's Paris Club, plus the new RPM Steak. Tucci Pronto will open February 14 in Minnetonka, MN, as well.