Famous 20th Century Restaurateurs

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders.
4
Famous As: Founder of KFC
Birthdate: September 9, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Henryville, Indiana, United States
Died: December 16, 1980

Colonel Sanders is the man who revolutionized the American fast food industry by founding the restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Establishing a style trademark by wearing a white suit and black string tie, Sanders went on to become a symbol of the KFC brand. Such is the popularity of the brand, the symbol is recognized all over the world.

 2 Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay.
4
Famous As: American chef
Birthdate: December 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay is best known for his Food Network shows, such as the Emmy-nominated Hot Off the Grill with Bobby Flay. He launched many restaurants, such as the Las Vegas-based Mesa Grill and 19 outlets of Bobby's Burger Palace. He has also taught at the French Culinary Institute.
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 3 Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver.
4
Famous As: Chef and Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clavering, U.K.

Jamie Oliver is an English restaurateur and chef who gained international recognition after appearing on popular TV shows, such as Jamie's Kitchen and The Naked Chef. In 2005, his Feed Me Better campaign helped introduce several children to healthier foods. He also established a charity restaurant called Fifteen, which employs disadvantaged young people.

 4 Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck.
3
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: July 8, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria

Wolfgang Puck is an Austrian-American restaurateur. In 1973, Puck moved to the US and opened a restaurant named Spago in 1982. He then established himself as a respected restaurateur by opening several other restaurants. In 2013, he was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame. Also an actor, Puck has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 5 Ray Kroc

Ray Kroc.
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Famous As: Founder of the McDonald’s Corporation
Birthdate: October 5, 1902
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: January 14, 1984

Ray Kroc was the man who helped expand McDonald's into a global franchise, eventually turning it into the most successful fast food corporation. Not surprisingly, he was mentioned in Time magazine's Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century list. He was also the owner of the popular baseball team San Diego Padres.

 6 Emeril Lagasse

Emeril Lagasse.
3
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: October 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagassé is known for his signature New New Orleans style of cooking and his catchphrases such as “Bam!” He owns several restaurants, has written many cookbooks, owns a non-profit for underprivileged children, and has also hosted Food Network shows such as Essence of Emeril and Emeril Live.

 7 Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri.
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Famous As: Restaurateur, Cookbook Author
Birthdate: January 22, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Primarily a restaurateur, Guy Fieri is a testimony to the fact that any professional can become famous if they are passionate enough in doing what they do best. From being a restaurateur, he went on to become a TV personality, hosting shows for Food Network channel. By mid-2010, he had become the face of the network.

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 8 Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson
4
Famous As: Basketball player, American football player, Businessperson, Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seattle

Nate Robinson is a former professional basketball player who has played in the NBA for the New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics,  Golden State Warriors, and Chicago Bulls. He went professional in 2005 and became the NBA's first three-time slam dunk champion in 2010. He retired in 2018. He now runs a restaurant in Rainier Beach.

 9 Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz.
3
Famous As: Chairman & CEO of Starbucks
Birthdate: July 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Businessman Howard Schultz has served as the chairman and CEO of the Starbucks Coffee Company and as the owner of the basketball team Seattle SuperSonics. He has written several books on business, including the NYT bestseller From the Ground Up. He has also launched the Schultz Family Foundation.

 10 Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless
2
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: November 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oklahoma City

 11 Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann
3
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: September 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States

 12 Richard McDonald

Richard McDonald
4
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: February 16, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
Died: July 14, 1998

Richard McDonald was an entrepreneur who co-founded the fast-food company McDonald's with his brother, Maurice. Their father ran a food stall. As young men, Richard and Maurice took over their father’s business and redesigned the restaurant. The restaurant was highly successful, and the brothers began franchising their system. The first McDonald's restaurant has now been converted into a museum. 

 13 Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio
2
Famous As: Restaurateur, Chef
Birthdate: August 15, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Elizabeth

 14 Kimbal Musk

Kimbal Musk.
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Famous As: Venture Capitalist, Restaurateurs
Birthdate: September 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa
Kimbal Musk, the younger brother of business tycoon and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, owns the community restaurant chain known as The Kitchen Restaurant Group. He also co-founded the non-profit Big Green, which builds outdoor classrooms, and Square Roots, which specializes in urban farming. He is also a prime Tesla shareholder.

 15 Paul Prudhomme

Paul Prudhomme
2
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur, Non-fiction writer, Businessperson
Birthdate: July 13, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Opelousas
Died: October 8, 2015

 16 Ming Tsai

Ming Tsai
2
Famous As: Restaurateur, Squash player, Actor
Birthdate: March 29, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newport Beach

 17 Tilman Fertitta

Tilman Fertitta.
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Famous As: CEO of Landry's Inc
Birthdate: June 25, 1957
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Galveston, Texas, United States
Entrepreneur Tilman Fertitta is the CEO and owner of Landry's, Inc., one of the largest hospitality brands in the U.S., which owns multiple restaurants, casinos, and hotels. He is also the owner of the NBA team Houston Rockets and has his own reality series, Billion Dollar Buyer.

 18 Alan Hale Jr.

Alan Hale Jr.
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: January 2, 1990

 19 Giuliana Rancic

Giuliana Rancic
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Famous As: Actor, Journalist, Restaurateur
Birthdate: August 17, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Naples

Giuliana Rancic is an Italian-American television personality and entertainment reporter. Over the years, she has co-hosted several important events like the Academy Awards and Golden Globes. Also known for her good looks, Rancic was named in the 100 Most Beautiful people list by People magazine in 2006. In 2014, she won the Daytime Emmy Award under the Fan Favorite category.

 20 Charlie Trotter

Charlie Trotter
1
Famous As: Restaurateur, Chef
Birthdate: September 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wilmette
Died: November 5, 2013

 21 Sarah Willingham

Sarah Willingham
2
Famous As: Restaurateur, Businessperson
Birthdate: December 21, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stoke-on-Trent

It is believed Sarah Willingham had begun working in the hospitality industry at age 13. Apart from managing the popular restaurants Planet Hollywood and Pizza Express, she also manages a huge portfolio that includes The Bombay Bicycle Club and The London Cocktail Club. She has also been part of Dragons' Den.

 22 Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas.
2
Famous As: American businessman
Birthdate: July 2, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Died: January 8, 2002

 23 Bill Rancic

Bill Rancic
2
Famous As: Writer, Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Author, Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago

 24 Todd English

Todd English
1
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: August 29, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Amarillo

 25 Nancy Kwan

Nancy Kwan.
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 19, 1939
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: British Hong Kong
Born to a British mother and a Chinese father, Nancy Kwan became a symbol of the rise of Asian artists in Hollywood. She earned her breakthrough role in The World of Suzie Wong while still a budding ballerina. Following her son’s death due to HIV, she began promoting AIDS awareness.

 26 Sean Avery

Sean Avery
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Famous As: Ice hockey player, Model, Restaurateur
Birthdate: April 10, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: North York

 27 Jimmy John Liautaud

Jimmy John Liautaud.
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Famous As: Founder of Jimmy John Gourment Sandwich Chain.
Birthdate: January 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arlington Heights, Illinois, United States

 28 Auguste Escoffier

Auguste Escoffier
2
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: October 28, 1846
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Villeneuve-Loubet, France
Died: February 12, 1935

 29 Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick.
2
Birthdate: October 23, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Littlehampton
Died: September 10, 2007

Anita Roddick was a British businesswoman and human rights activist. She was also a passionate crusader for environmental issues. She founded the British version of The Body Shop, now The Body Shop International Limited. Her company was among the first to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals in some products. She was also involved with Greenpeace.  

 30 Ettore Boiardi

Ettore Boiardi.
1
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: October 22, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Piacenza, Italy
Died: June 21, 1985

Italian-American chef Ettore Boiardi is remembered for revolutionizing the culinary industry with his food brand Chef Boyardee, which made a variety of Italian food products, such as sauces and spaghetti, available to Americans for the first time. He even supplied food to the Allied soldiers during World War II.

 31 Bobby Deen

Bobby Deen
1
Famous As: Restaurateur, Chef
Birthdate: April 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Albany

 32 Glen Bell

Glen Bell
1
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: September 3, 1923
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lynwood, California, United States
Died: January 16, 2010

 33 George Crum

George Crum.
1
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: July 15, 1824
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saratoga County, New York, United States
Died: July 22, 1914

 34 Rocco DiSpirito

Rocco DiSpirito
2
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: November 19, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jamaica

 35 Eduardo Santamarina

Eduardo Santamarina
1
Famous As: Restaurateur, Actor, Television actor
Birthdate: July 9, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Veracruz

 36 Jay Pritzker

Jay Pritzker
1
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: August 26, 1922
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 23, 1999

Hyatt Hotels co-founder Jay Pritzker was the patriarch of a $15 billion empire with about 200 companies under him. A qualified lawyer, he was initially associated with his family law and holding firm. He also launched the Pritzker Architecture Prize and was the owner of Braniff Airlines.

 37 J. Willard Marriott

J. Willard Marriott
1
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: September 17, 1900
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Marriott Settlement, Utah, U.S.
Died: August 13, 1985

Born in Utah, Marriott founder J. Willard Marriott grew up helping his parents on their family farm. The hotel tycoon began his career selling root beer and gradually launched a restaurant chain. The first Marriott hotel was basically a motel and eventually grew into a US$4.5 billion empire.

 38 Pat Neely

Pat Neely
1
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: July 20, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit

 39 Ludo Lefebvre

Ludo Lefebvre
1
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: April 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Burgundy

 40 Jilly Rizzo

Jilly Rizzo
1
Famous As: Restaurateur, Actor
Birthdate: May 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mexicano
Died: May 6, 1992

Jilly Rizzo was an American entertainer and restaurateur. He is credited with establishing a lounge named Jilly's Saloon which was a famous celebrity hangout during the 1960s. Many celebrities including Frank Sinatra frequented Jilly's Saloon. As a result, Jilly Rizzo became friends with Frank Sinatra and went on to become one of Sinatra's chief aides.

 41 Donald Nixon

Donald Nixon
1
Famous As: Restaurateur, Politician
Birthdate: November 23, 1914
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yorba Linda
Died: June 27, 1987

 42 Kerry Simon

Kerry Simon
1
Famous As: Restaurateur, Chef
Birthdate: June 17, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Evanston
Died: September 11, 2015

 43 Don the Beachcomber

Don the Beachcomber
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Birthdate: February 22, 1907
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Limestone County
Died: June 7, 1989

 44 Nellie Cashman

Nellie Cashman
0
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 25, 1845
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Midleton, County Cork, Ireland
Died: January 4, 1925

 45 Ella Brennan

Ella Brennan
1
Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: November 27, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: May 31, 2018

 46 Fernand Point

Fernand Point
1
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: February 25, 1897
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Louhans, France
Died: March 4, 1955

 47 Leah Chase

Leah Chase
1
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: January 6, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: June 1, 2019

 48 Harry Olivieri

Harry Olivieri
1
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: May 25, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 20, 2006