CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
THE RIESE ORGANIZATION
Dennis Riese is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Riese Organization. The Riese Organization owns and operates approximately 24 restaurants in the New York City area. Included in The Riese Organization’s portfolio are nationally known brand restaurants such as TGIFriday’s®, KFC, Pizza Hut, Nathan’s and their latest acquisition (July 2009) Tim Hortons Coffee and Bake Shop as well as their own successful proprietary concepts including the famous Lindy’s in Times Square, featuring the most famous cheesecake in the world, as well as Tad’s Steaks and Tequilaville at Grand Central.
The Company was founded in 1940 by Murray and Irving Riese, Dennis Riese’s father and uncle, respectively. The Riese Organization is a group of corporations which owns and operates restaurants and real estate, predominantly in the New York City area, and includes National Restaurants Management, Inc., the corporation which served as a holding company during the period of Irving and Murray Riese’s leadership.
In 1981, Dennis and his father recognized that a powerful new trend, franchising, was beginning to sweep the country. Through Dennis’ leadership, the company embraced this trend and by 1990 the Company had doubled in size. Fueling this growth was the store-front food court concept, a Riese innovation that combined multiple franchises under a single roof. The importance of this revolutionary idea was acknowledged by the restaurant industry through the Nation’s Restaurant News Foodservice Hall of Fame designation.
The Riese Organization also owned the highest grossing and most profitable TGIFriday’s® in the world located at 46th Street and Broadway, “The Crossroads of the World”. The Riese family has occupied this corner for over 30 years, and in 2005 has acquired the building and land itself.
The Riese Organization entities also owns and/or controls some of the highest trafficked retail sites in the City, including 604 Fifth Avenue, in Rockefeller Center opposite Sak’s Fifth Avenue, three high profile corners in Times Square, and several other significant areas throughout Manhattan. In November 2009, The Riese Organization has acquired 34 Union Square East (at the corner of 16th street and Park Avenue South) and opened their tenth T.G.I.Friday’s® Restaurant in the spring of 2010. The Company continues to occupy its sites with its restaurants, which enables it to carry the real estate while it increases significantly in value.
A member of the Board of Directors of Citymeals-On-Wheels,DennisRiese has sponsored benefits for the organization and has been an ardent supporter of its weekend and holiday meals program. Since 1994, The Riese Organization has involved approximately 3.7 million New Yorkers in its annual “Round-Up” campaign and has surpassed $2,500,000 in contributions.
Riese Restaurants is also the proud sponsor of the Riese Restaurants Training Center in conjunction with the New York City Department for the Aging. Additional charities Mr. Riese has been actively involved with include, Encore Community Services, an organization that provides a variety of social services to the New York metropolitan senior community, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiatives, which directs funds to AIDS-related charities. In addition, The Riese Organization underwrote the expense of artwork by globally recognized artist Peter Max in support of the Nation’s Parade held in New York City, which celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the end of World War II hostilities.
Dennis is also on the Dean’s Council of the New York University Tisch School of Arts. He has established several awards that enable students to complete their thesis films in order to graduate. The Dennis Riese Film Production Fund at the Tisch School of the Arts helped fund Keiko Ibi’s student thesis film that won the Academy Award’s Oscar© for Best Short Documentary.
More recently, in June 2007 Dennis Riese was the Recipient of the Bernard L. Martin Memorial Award for Humanitarianism. This Award is given annually to a member of the Children’s Medical Fund of New York Men’s Division who best exemplifies commitment to children’s healthcare. Additionally, within the same year Dennis was elected as Trustee of the North Shore– Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System.
Under Dennis Riese’s leadership, The Riese Organization continues to grow, building upon a 75 year heritage of innovation.