Danny Meyer, CEO and founder of Union Square Hospitality Group, is stepping down from his role, effective Sept 6. Meyer’s replacement as CEO of the Union Square Café restaurant group will be current COO and president of the company, Chip Wade, who joined in 2019 and has 30 years of experience. Meyer will remain executive chairman of the board, while Wade will also join the board of directors.
"Starting this company 37 years ago – with aspirations to open just one successful restaurant – and seeing the outstanding and inspirational role our colleagues have come to play in our industry has been the personal and professional joy of a lifetime," Meyer said in a statement. "When Chip joined us three years ago, our hope was that he'd one day be prepared to succeed me as USHG's leader, and that day has unquestionably arrived. He is an exemplary operational leader, wholly dedicated to our team members and committed to their professional and personal growth.”
Before joining Union Square Hospitality Group in May 2019, Wade served as vice president of operations for Red Lobster for just under six years, and before that held executive and leadership roles with Darden, Legal Sea Foods and Smokey Bones. At USHG, Wade helped to rebuild the restaurant group in the wake of the pandemic, helped launch the group’s newest restaurant, Ci Siamo. Wade also led Union Square Events and its expansion and relocation to Brooklyn’s Industry City, as well as the growth of Hospitality Quotient, which is USHG’s development and leadership arm.
“Working with Danny over the past three years has been a career highlight, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished together,” Wade said in a statement. “Day in and day out, I have the unique privilege of witnessing the power of hospitality and the success of an employee-first model, evident across all USHG businesses. As CEO, I'm looking forward to accelerating our growth through cultural, operational and financial performance, in addition to driving new business priorities.”
In his role on the board, Meyer will continue to consult and collaborate on new restaurant concepts and operational strategies and also continues to serve as board chairman of Shake Shack.
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