Unite Fresh 2016 names keynote speaker
Kevin Brown, president and CEO of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE), will be the keynote speaker at the United Fresh 2016 Breakfast General Session on Wednesday, June 22 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
LEYE owns more than 100 restaurants with 51 different concepts ranging from fast casual to fine dining nationwide. Lettuce opened its first restaurant, R.J. Grunts, in 1971, a youthful and fun restaurant that positioned dining out as entertainment, not just a necessity. Since that time, the company has continued to grow, and now includes restaurants like Mon Ami Gabi, Wildfire, and Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, RPM Italian, Three Dots and a Dash, Shaw’s Crab House and more.
A Pittsburgh native, Brown obtained his B.A. from Michigan State University and joined LEYE in 1977. He was the first candidate Rich Melman, founder of LEYE, interviewed on a college campus. In his early years, Brown held leadership positions at numerous Lettuce restaurants including The Pump Room and Un Grand Café, where in 1981 he was awarded his first partnership opportunity. He later developed some of Lettuce’s most popular restaurants, including Shaw’s Crab House, Mity Nice Bar & Grill and Big Bowl.
He brings more than 35 years of industry experience and leadership to LEYE. In his role, he is first and foremost a restauranteur, directing the ongoing innovation and development of new concepts, while strategically expanding and improving existing restaurants. His ultimate goal is to not only maintain and enhance Lettuce’s reputation and entrepreneurial spirit but to also provide a high level of hospitality and care to both guests in the restaurants and employees.
Brown is also active in the community serving as a trustee of the University of Chicago Medical Center, advisory board member of the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State, and member of both the Illinois and National Restaurant Association.
The United Fresh 2016 Breakfast General Session will take place on Wednesday, June 22, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. Participation in the session is available to those attendees who purchase the United Fresh All Access or Convention Packages.