Summer Jobs For 13 Year Olds In Chicago – “You can tell a lot about a person by the type of people they choose to surround themselves with.” Founder Rich Melman
Richard Mellman is the founder and president of Entertain You Restaurants, a Chicago-based company that owns more than 125 restaurants nationwide.
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The restaurant business has been Melman’s life’s work, beginning with his early days in a family restaurant and later working as a teenager in fast food restaurants, at a soda fountain, and selling restaurant supplies. After realizing he wasn’t cut out for a college student and failing to convince his father that he should become a partner in the family business, Melman partnered with Jerry A. To create and run a restaurant. In 1971, two R.J. Grunts, a hip burger joint that quickly became one of Chicago’s hottest restaurants. Here Melman and Orzoff presented the food differently and with a sense of humor, creating a young and fun restaurant that pioneered the dining-as-entertainment trend that swept the country in the early 1970s.
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Melman and Orzoff continued to develop restaurant concepts together until Orzoff’s death in 1981. Through his relationship with Ursov, Melman developed a philosophy based on the importance of partners, sharing responsibilities and profits with them, and developing and growing together. Today, Melman has 70 business partners, most of whom came through the organization.
Running many restaurants well requires hiring, training and developing people, then keeping them happy and focused on excellence. Melman’s guiding philosophy is that he is not interested in being the biggest, richest or most famous restaurateur. He always wanted to be the best. He greatly values and feels responsible for the more than 7,000 people who work for their continued success. Melman’s commitment now is to develop young leaders to ensure the company will be around for another 50 years.
Melman’s personal life revolves around his family. He and his wife Marta have been married for 41 years and have three children who are successful restaurateurs themselves.
Fred Jost says it’s the opportunities for creative expression and the challenges that make him fall in love with the restaurant world. Joast joined Entertain You Restaurants in 1973 and was one of the first to be part of the organization. He worked with Richard Melman on the development of the first property, R.J. proud He then became a partner in the company and was heavily involved in the creation, planning and development of the second property, Fritz, That’s It! in Evanston, IL and most restaurants to follow. Fred is a troubleshooter and a master at organizing the back of the house. Or Kitchen Operations Joast currently contributes to all properties in his capacity as Founding Partner and Executive Vice President, Operations.
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In addition to assisting with operations, Joast serves as a visiting lecturer at Princeton University and Cornell’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, as well as serving on the Kendall College Board of Trustees.
Austrian-born Joast, who attended European hospitality schools, worked at several major Chicago restaurants before joining, including Biggs, The Standard Club, Gaslight Club and French Market. Joast, who is married, enjoys spending time with his family and enjoys traveling, diving and photography in his spare time. His personal commitment to others is: to share his knowledge and expertise so that they can achieve their goals and succeed personally and professionally. Joast believes that his success depends on theirs.
One of the founders of Entertain You Enterprises, Inc. (LEYE), Bob Vattle was responsible for advertising, market research, the frequent dining program and customer service.
Wattel began his career with LEYE in 1974 as director of the Gritzbe Bird Food Show. In 1975 he helped establish his current position with the goal of providing “a core of support to the company’s facilities.” Emphasizing the nature of the restaurant industry and LEYE’s rapid growth, Vattel emphasized the importance of quick and effective decision-making and keeping up with the ever-changing industry.
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“I feel like a people developer and I appreciate the challenge of working in such a fast-paced environment,” Wattel said.
“When I tell people that I’m a partner with Entertain You, I feel so excited,” he often said.
Bob enjoys spending time with his wife, two sons and daughter. Wattle enjoys softball and golf. He was also an avid fan of Chicago sports teams, including the Cubs, Bears and Bulls. Wattle graduated from Roosevelt University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Kevin Brown brings more than 40 years of experience and leadership in the restaurant industry to his role as CEO of Entertain You Restaurants. It is one of the most reliable multi-concept restaurant companies with more than 130 restaurants and more than 60 concepts across the country.
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As CEO, Kevin will join chairman and founder Richard Mellman, president of R.J. Melman and other key members of the executive team to continue the process of innovation and creation of new concepts while strategically growing existing concepts.
Kevin is a native of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Michigan State University. In 1977 he was the first candidate Rich Melman interviewed on campus. Kevin was offered a job at R.J. Grant’s, his first restaurant.
In his early years, Kevin held management positions at The Pump Room and Un Grand Café, receiving his first partnership opportunity in 1981. He later developed some of the group’s most popular concepts including Shaw’s Crab House, Wow Bao, Mity Nice Bar. & Grill and Big Bowl, which has grown to more than seven locations in Chicago, Minnesota and Virginia.
Throughout his career, Kevin’s successes have come with increasing responsibilities. He became president in 2000 and was appointed CEO in 2003.
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Kevin is a dedicated community participant and devotes time to civic duties as dean of the University of Chicago Medical Center.
R. J. Melman is president of Entertain You Restaurants, a family-owned restaurant group with more than 110 restaurants and 60 unique concepts nationwide. Since joining the company full-time in 2001, he has held various positions internally as well as consulting on restaurant projects outside the company.
R.J., along with his siblings Jerrod and Molly Melman, have created and opened some of their most notable concepts, starting with HUB 51 and SUB 51 in June 2008. Their restaurant list now includes RPM Italian, RPM Steak, Three Dots and Dash. , Ramen -san, Sushi-san, Bub City, Joe’s Live, Stella Barra Pizzeria & Wine Bar, Summer House Santa Monica, il Porcellino, Pizzeria Portofino, RPM Events and RPM Seafood.
In 2019, R.J. and partners announced a multi-concept restaurant and private event space on the Chicago Riverfront that includes Pizzeria Portofino, RPM Events and RPM Seafood, opening in January 2020. In 2022, the RPM brand expanded to Las Vegas with the opening of RPM. Italian in the Forum shops in Caesar’s Palace. Under RJ’s leadership, it continues to expand into new and exciting markets, with Aba in Austin, TX in 2021 and the first restaurant in Florida in November 2022 with Aba in Miami at Bal Harbor Shops and then Summer House on the Lake at Disney Springs in . Autumn 2023
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R. J. graduated from the University of Kansas and lives in Chicago with his wife Kate, son William and daughter Sloan. He is active in Chicago’s philanthropic and business communities and is proud to be a member of the YPO Chicago Chapter Executive Committee as well as past chapter president. He has also previously served on a number of boards of directors, including the board of Del Taco Restaurants.
Jerrod Melman is the managing partner at Entertain You Restaurants. He has opened restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington DC. In 2008, Jerrod and his partners opened HUB 51 and the lower level club SUB 51 in downtown Chicago.
Since then, he has opened more than a dozen restaurants, including RPM Italian, RPM Steak, RPM Seafood, Bub City, Three Dots and A Dash, among others. Since graduating from DePaul University with a BA in Communications, Jerrod has worked with other well-known hospitality groups, including BR Guest Hospitality and Union Square Hospitality Group in New York, as well as In-N-Out Burger in Arizona.
In addition to building the RPM and “San” restaurant brands, Jerrod and his partners have announced several exciting projects including Bub City and Joe’s Live – a restaurant and music venue in Rosemont, IL and an Italian-American comfort food restaurant in Rosemont, IL. Porcelino.
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In 2014, the first location of Ramen Sun, a ramen neighborhood, opened in River North. Today there are four locations throughout Chicago, including Fulton Market, Streeterville, and Lincoln Park.