Donna Lee

Donna Lee

DONNA LEE is founder and CEO of Brown Bag Seafood Co, a premium fast casual seafood concept that launched in 2014. With almost 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Donna has honed her skills at a variety of restaurants. Donna worked in front-of-house operations with Boka Restaurant Group before joining the restaurant management team at Quince. In 2007, Donna pivoted to the fast casual restaurant sector, a growing space in which she was highly interested. She served as a general manager of Noodles & Company for four years, learning first-hand both the complexities and best practices of the fast casual industry. In 2010, Donna transitioned from in-store operations to food and beverage media, joining DiningOut magazine as associate publisher. There, she developed valuable relationships with restaurateurs, suppliers, and other trade influencers, and eventually she felt equipped with the experience to launch her own concept. After considerable planning and a leap of faith, Brown Bag Seafood Co. was born in May of 2014.There, Donna oversees in-store operations, including menu management, recipe development, and crew training and mentoring. She also manages new store design, layout, and equipment plans and oversees build-out. Donna is especially passionate about cultivating a positive culture, fostering growth in all team members, and optimizing store design and operations, furthering versatility of the brand.Since opening the first location in 2014, Brown Bag Seafood Co. has expanded to include three distinct locations across Chicago and a fourth location in River North. Brown Bag Seafood Co. was named one of America’s hottest startup fast casual restaurants by QSR Magazine in 2018. (Chicago, IL)