Lettuce Entertain You: Leveraging Concepts, Location, and Branding to Create a Fine Dining Empire

Kevin Brown, Amarit Dulyapaibul and Ethan Samson

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In this podcast, we visit with the Lettuce Entertain You Leadership team to discuss success and the formula for the future.

Featuring:

  • Ethan Samson, Executive Partner - Vice President & Deputy General Counsel 

  • Amarit Dulyapaibul, Managing Partner 

  • Kevin Brown, CEO

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE) is a family-owned restaurant group founded in 1971 by R.J. Melman. The company has become one of the largest restaurant groups in the United States, with more than 120 restaurants and 60 brands nationwide. LEYE is known for its innovative and diverse portfolio of restaurants, which ranges from casual to fine dining.

In recent years, LEYE has experienced massive growth in the fine dining category. The company has launched new refined dining concepts, including RPM Italian, RPM Steak, and Sushi-san. LEYE has also expanded its existing fine dining brands, such as Gibsons Steakhouse and Mon Ami Gabi.

Several factors have contributed to LEYE's success in the fine dining category. First, the company has a strong track record of developing innovative and successful restaurant concepts. LEYE's refined dining concepts are known for their modern cuisine, stylish décor, and vibrant atmosphere.

Second, LEYE carefully selects the locations for its restaurants. The company's fine dining restaurants are typically located in high-traffic areas with a high concentration of affluent consumers. For example, RPM Italian is located in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, while Gibsons Steakhouse is located in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago.

Third, LEYE invests heavily in branding. The company's fine dining brands are well-known and respected by consumers. LEYE also uses its branding to create a sense of exclusivity and luxury around its restaurants. For example, RPM Italian has a private dining room that can be reserved for special occasions.

LEYE has created a successful fine dining empire by leveraging its concepts, location, and branding. The company's fine dining restaurants offer consumers a unique and upscale dining experience. LEYE can also attract affluent consumers by locating its restaurants in high-traffic areas and investing in its branding.

Here are some specific examples of how LEYE has leveraged concepts, location, and branding to create the next empire in food service:

  • Concepts: LEYE's refined dining concepts are designed to appeal to a wide range of consumers. For example, RPM Italian offers a modern take on classic Italian cuisine, while Sushi-san offers a traditional omakase experience. LEYE also has several refined dining concepts focused on specific cuisines, such as seafood (RPM Seafood) and steak (RPM Steak).

  • Location: LEYE carefully selects the locations for its restaurants. The company's fine dining restaurants are typically located in high-traffic areas with a high concentration of affluent consumers. For example, RPM Italian is located in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, while Gibsons Steakhouse is located in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago.

  • Branding: LEYE invests heavily in branding. The company's fine dining brands are well-known and respected by consumers. LEYE also uses its branding to create a sense of exclusivity and luxury around its restaurants. For example, RPM Italian has a private dining room that can be reserved for special occasions.

LEYE's success in the fine dining category is a testament to the company's ability to develop and execute a winning strategy. By leveraging its concepts, location, and branding, LEYE has created a restaurant group well-positioned for continued growth in the years to come.

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Paul Barron