Conference Theme: Conflict & Change
Recorded on 6/5/17


Richard is Founder and Chairman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, a Chicago-based corporation that owns over 100 restaurants nationwide. The restaurant business has been his life work, beginning with his early days in a family-owned restaurant and later as a teenager working in fast food eateries. After realizing that he wasn't cut out to be a college student, he met Jerry A. Orzoff, a man who immediately and unconditionally believed in Richard’s ability to create and run restaurants. In 1971 the two opened R.J. Grunts, a hip burger joint that soon became one of the hottest restaurants in Chicago. They continued to develop restaurant concepts together until Jerry’s death in 1981. Through his relationship with Jerry, Richard formulated a philosophy based on the importance of partners, of sharing responsibilities and profits with them, and of developing and growing together. Today, Richard has almost 70 working partners, most of whom have come up through the organization.