2010 Portfolio Company Hall of Fame

Levy Restaurants                                                 

Credit two brothers, their mother and a deli for creating Levy Restaurants in 1978. Brothers Larry and Mark Levy acquired D.B. Kaplan's Delicatessen in Chicago's Water Tower Place that year. But the restaurant wasn't performing to the brothers' high expectations so they brought in their mother Eadie to help with authentic family recipes, and they jumped in as day-to-day restaurateurs. Levy Restaurants was born.

In 1989, Chicago-based Frontenac Company, a private equity firm, made an initial investment in Levy Restaurants and between that year and 2000, when Frontenac sold its investment to Compass Group PLC, the restaurant company grew from about $45 million in revenues to ten times that figure. Levy Restaurants is a part of Compass Group North America, a Charlotte-based food-management company with annual revenues of nearly $9 million.

Today Levy Restaurants' diverse portfolio celebrates food in internationally acclaimed restaurants and offers the leading market share of food service operations at sports and entertainment facilities. These include stadiums, arenas, convention centers, zoos, racetracks and music festivals, in every major market and abroad. To date, because of its passion and commitment to the business, Levy Restaurants has been recognized with every major dining award in the industry.

In 1982, the company pioneered the concept of fine dining in stadiums and arenas with award-winning restaurants and food service locations at U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, and again in 1985 in Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs home. In 1984, the Company opened Spiaggia, among the original fine-dining Italian restaurants in America that 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(r) Resort in Orlando, Fla.

Levy sports and entertainment division manages convention facilities, concert and performance venues and arenas for all major sports leagues. They manage food service operations in 30 percent of U.S. stadiums. Levy Restaurants employs more than 15,000, with its operations in Chicago and Illinois accounting for many of those jobs.