How did Levy Restaurants get started?
"If you enjoy what you do, you'll never work another day
in your life." Larry Levy, Founder and Chairman Emeritus
In 1978, brothers Larry and Mark Levy expanded beyond their real estate and insurance roots by investing in D.B. Kaplan's Delicatessen in Chicago's Water Tower Place. Six months later, the restaurant wasn't performing to their high expectations. So, with pride on the line, they rolled up their sleeves, brought in their mother Eadie to help with authentic family recipes, and jumped in as day-to-day restaurateurs. Levy Restaurants was born.
They quickly discovered that they loved creating amazing food and delivering a truly memorable experience to every guest. They pursued their passion and learned about the many details - from heartfelt hospitality and impeccable food to perfecting everything the guest smells, sees, hears, tastes and touches - that create a memorable dining experience.
Inspired in their roles as true proprietors of D.B. Kaplan's, they defined what is today known as The Levy Difference - the sustaining and distinguishing vision that guides the company:
As a family of passionate restaurateurs, we live "The Levy Difference" by creating great restaurant experiences wherever our innovative approach might take us.
Today, as a result of a commitment to an entrepreneurial mindset, Levy Restaurants is recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the industry. Levy's diverse portfolio celebrates food in internationally-acclaimed restaurants and offers the leading market share of foodservice operations at sports and entertainment facilities, including stadiums, arenas, convention centers, zoos, racetracks and music festivals, in every major market and abroad. In addition, Levy offers a full range of consulting services.
"Everything the guest hears, sees, smells, tastes and touches is important..." Andy Lansing, President and CEO
That worldwide reputation was born from the Company's foundation of award-winning restaurants and an innovative approach to the business. In 1984, the Company opened Spiaggia, one of the original fine dining Italian restaurants in America that today still boasts four-stars and a worldwide reputation for excellence. In 1989, Levy Restaurants earned the honor of being selected by the Walt Disney Company as the first restaurateurs to create, own and operate two destinations at Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Florida. Portobello Yacht Club, consistently voted the best Italian restaurant in Orlando and Fulton's Crab House, one of the top ten sales volume restaurants in the United States, operate in Walt Disney World® Resort. To date, because of its passion and commitment to the business, Levy Restaurants has been recognized with every major dining award in the industry.
The Levy Difference has also expanded into the luxury hotel and resort market. With its reputation for innovation, the Company entered the hospitality arena by opening restaurants and providing dining experiences at some of the country's premier hotel and resort locations.
Inventing Sports & Entertainment Dining
"There's no other Company in America that brings a restaurant mentality to what they do..." John Long, Executive Vice President, Churchill Downs, Inc.
Levy Restaurants brings restaurant-quality dining from its base of award-winning locations to the foodservice at sports and entertainment venues throughout the world. Levy Restaurants, the only foodservice provider in this business that grew up operating award-winning restaurants, pioneered the concept of fine dining in stadiums and arenas in 1982 in its own backyard at the old Comiskey Park (home of the Chicago White Sox). Levy Restaurants began its expansion in 1985 at Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs).
Levy Restaurants opened its first location outside of Chicago in 1994 and has since grown coast to coast with locations in premier properties in most major markets in North America -- from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. and Montreal to Miami.
Levy Restaurants is proud to be the market leader in delivering signature food and hospitality to luxury suites, private clubs, in-seat service, mini restaurants, general concessions and private event catering in partnership with every major professional sports league. Our culinary team has catered some of the most high-profile events in the world, including Super Bowls, the U.S. Open, NBA and NHL All-Star Games, the World Series, the Grammy Awards and the most exciting two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby.
Poised for Future Growth
"Levy Restaurants is a terrific partner for Compass Group. We have the utmost respect for what they do." Gary Green, President, Compass Group NA
Levy Restaurants is a full member of Charlotte-based Compass Group North America, the leading food management company with more than $8.8 billion in revenues. Its parent company, UK-based Compass Group PLC, was ranked the 13th-largest employer by Fortune magazine in 2007 and had worldwide revenues of $20.2 billion. Compass Group North America operates in nine core market sectors: Corporate Dining, Vending, Healthcare, Sports & Entertainment, Education, Restaurants, Remote Sites, Strategic Partners and Cultural & Specialty Dining.
This partnership allows Levy Restaurants to share best practices with some of the world's most dynamic food service providers and offers tremendous opportunity for international growth.