- Danny Meyer, founder and current CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, will resign from his position as chief executive, effective Sept. 6, according to a press release. He will remain executive chairman at the company he formed 37 years ago.
- Chip Wade, president and COO of USHG, will succeed Meyer and also join the board of directors.
- Wade, who has 30 years of operational leadership in hospitality, joined the company in 2019 and helped implement the company’s long-term growth strategy alongside Meyer.
Wade will take the helm of the full-service restaurant group in a time of growth for the company. While the pandemic led USHG to reduce its staff by 90% in 2020, the company has resumed expansion and is surpassing pre-pandemic performance, according to the press release. Last year, the company opened Ci Siamo, its newest restaurant, and doubled its footprint of Daily Provisions, an all-day cafe with four locations in New York City. Analysts have speculated this concept could become a nationwide chain, similar to Shake Shack, which was founded by Meyer.
Within the last year, Wade also led Union Square Events and oversaw the growth of Hospitality Quotient, the company’s consultancy focused on leadership, learning and development.
Before joining USHG, Wade spent more than decade in leadership positions at Red Lobster and Darden Restaurants. He’s also worked as COO of Legal Sea Foods and also held positions at Smokey Bones and TGI Fridays, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“As CEO, I'm looking forward to accelerating our growth through cultural, operational and financial performance, in addition to driving new business priorities,” Wade said.
As executive chairman, Meyer will continue to work with the USHG leadership team to create new concepts, discuss innovation and expansion initiatives and actively advise and mentor USHG culinary, beverage and restaurant management teams, according to the press release. He will also remain in his position as managing partner of Enlightened Hospitality Investments, a private equity firm. Meyer will also remain at as board chairman of his his SPAC, USHGAC, and at Shake Shack.