From: Jeff Flug

Date: 5/11/2015

Subject: "Thank You"

Dear USHG Colleagues,

After six incredible and memorable years, I will be stepping down as President of USHG on June 10th. This decision is filled with much mixed emotion, particularly given the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead for USHG.

My journey at USHG began in July 2009, but it actually started well before that. I’ve known Danny through our daughters' school since 1998, and even before knowing him, at my first dinner at Union Square Cafe in 1988, I received the warmest host greeting that I have not forgotten. It only got better over the years as a guest and made me a devoted fan of Union Square Hospitality Group restaurants and its people.

When Danny and I spoke in 2009 about my joining USHG, Danny took a bold risk - shaking up USHG’s organization, putting at jeopardy a social friendship and also believing in someone who had never worked a day in the restaurant industry. I leave knowing a lot more about the restaurant industry but having learned a great deal more how a remarkable company and its people truly take care of each other. The care, pride and love that I witnessed over the past six years in our businesses is extraordinary. It has been a true gift to have shared it with you. To the degree I've been able to impart any of my knowledge or gifts, I sincerely hope you will apply those in your own work going forward.

My decision to step down now is based on the next chapter facing my wife, Sheryl, and me, and it’s something we have been contemplating for many years. Our youngest daughter will be graduating high school in June and our eldest daughter will be relocating to San Francisco. With no more children at home, we are both excited to spend a good portion of the year outside New York City. If I spoke to you for more than 5 minutes, you would know that I have a passion for the mountains, and the prospect to spend significant time in this setting is beyond compelling for us.

Danny and I have been discussing the potential for this transition timeline over the past two years, during which time we have worked diligently to broaden and deepen USHG’s executive leadership. I hope you'll agree that the leadership changes have been significant and meaningful. USHG is in a very strong position - organizationally and financially - to continue to thrive while advancing our special culture. This also gives me the opportunity to thank you for welcoming a restaurant outsider and accepting the perspectives I’ve been able to bring to USHG. 

I will continue to be a stakeholder in USHG as well as a board director for Shake Shack. However, most importantly, I will remain your biggest fan and loyal patron in all our fantastic businesses: restaurants, catering, HQ and Jazz!

I am looking forward to saying goodbye to as many of you in person and will forever be grateful to all that you have taught me about enriching one’s life through uncommon hospitality.

With enormous gratitude,