R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman, managing partners,
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
The offspring of restaurant concept icon Richard Melman, all under the age of 40, do it all: Oversee, conceptualize, hire, train, taste and design killer new restaurant concepts. Growing up in the business, these siblings have rotated through nearly every position, both front of the house and back, giving them an invaluable insider’s understanding of logistics. They’re the trio behind some of LEYE’s most innovative and popular concepts, including Three Dots and a Dash, RPM Steak, RPM Italian, Bub City, Ramen-san, Hub 51, il Porcellino and Studio Paris. This year they expanded their horizons to a second RPM Italian, in Washington, D.C. And there’s plenty more in the pipeline. R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman also are driving Windy City Smokeout, a barbecue and country music festival that draws about 40,000 attendees to Chicago.
Expert advice: Culture counts
“When we opened RPM Italian in a new market, Washington D.C., we wanted to be sure to hire people who maintained the [LEYE] culture. To do this we spent a lot of time hiring and training the team. We also had our new management team spend some time in the restaurants in Chicago so they too could learn and bring our culture back.” — Molly Melman