Umami Burger names new CEO to succeed founder Adam Fleischman

Umami Restaurant Group names new CEO; founder Adam Fleischman remains chairman

Umami Restaurant Group, the company that runs the Umami Burger chain and is a partner of 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza, announced Monday that Paul E. Clayton will take over as its new chief executive officer.

Clayton is replacing Adam Fleischman, founder and chairman of Umami Restaurant Group, who stepped down as CEO earlier this year. Fleischman will remain Umami Restaurant Group chairman.

The chain started as a single burger store (now closed) on an unassuming stretch of La Brea Avenue in 2009. It has expanded to branches across the country, including New York and Florida. Umami will soon be opening in Las Vegas, Irvine and Brooklyn, N.Y.

“Umami Burger has captured the imaginations and taste-buds of diners around the globe,” Clayton said in a statement. “I am both honored and excited to build on top of the company’s solid foundation and lead its talented team ... through the next phase of growth.”

Clayton has served as president of Burger King North America, CEO at Jamba Juice and most recently, president of Meineke Car Care Centers. He will now lead the growth and development of Umami Burger. 

Fleischman has recently developed ChocoChicken, purveyor of fried-chicken-meets-chocolate, in downtown Los Angeles. He also is focusing on his culinary incubator AdVantage Restaurant Partners.  

“We have grown Umami Burger from a single location to more than 20 restaurants in just five years,” said Fleischman in a statement. “Paul has the vision, expertise and instincts to grow Umami Burger into one of the most creative and forward-thinking restaurant groups in the world.”

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