If there’s one thing the Doody family knows, it’s entrepreneurship. It’s no surprise, certainly, that the business successes of Sue Goetz Doody ’56 rubbed off on her children. As the owner of Lindey’s, one of the most iconic restaurants in Columbus, Ohio, Sue has made a name for herself in the restaurant industry over the last 30 years.
Sue opened Lindey’s in 1981, hoping to create a unique dining experience in the German Village neighborhood of Columbus. Though she had no experience running a restaurant, she had the right idea. “I wanted to fill the space between fine and casual dining. Lindey’s was truly the first place of its kind,” she explains. With a menu containing upscale yet popular entrees, Lindey’s has stood the test of time. The restaurant is increasingly profitable, and Sue currently has 100 employees. It is love and respect for people—both employees and Lindey’s patrons—that gives Sue the greatest joy in her work. “For me, success is seeing a business run really well,” she says. “I love building up my team and seeing them bring a vision to life. And of course the biggest thing is seeing my kids be successful—that’s the most important success to me of all.”
And succeed they have. Brothers Rick Doody ‘80 and Chris Doody ‘83 cofounded the Bravo Brio restaurant chain in 1992, which operates two Italian restaurants, Bravo and Brio. With more than 100 restaurants nationwide, Rick is chairman of the chain, working in development and restaurant design for both restaurants. Just like his mother, Rick loves working in a “people business.” And with over 9,000 employees in the chain and over 15 million guests per year, a people business it is. “It can create headaches for some people, but a lot of opportunity if you love it,” Rick explains. “That’s how you achieve success.” And what does success mean to him? “Success is all about enjoying what you do,” he says. “It’s having true passion for your work every single day, and really loving it.”
Rick’s brother Chris served as Chief Operating Officer for Bravo Brio until 2010, when he branched off to open Piada Italian Street Food, a fast, casual Italian eatery with locations around Columbus. As CEO and chairman of Piada, Chris is responsible for all aspects of the brand, which is perfect for his entrepreneurial spirit. “Sitting idle is not my nature, and I knew that there was a niche for a fast, casual Italian concept,” he explains. Chris says he loves talking with Piada’s guests about the food and the experience, then working with chefs and doing further creative development. It’s a big job, but it’s worth it. “Hard work pays off, and success is really a constant evolution,” Chris says. “We are continually finding new ways to improve and provide a better experience for our guests, and nothing could be successful without the people that help make it happen.”
While a knack for the restaurant industry clearly runs in the family, the talent doesn’t stop there. Trish (Doody) Elkin ‘83, one of the two Doody daughters, owns PetPeople Stores, which she opened in 1997 with the support of her father and husband. Operating 14 stores in the Columbus area and throughout the state, PetPeople sells natural pet food and pet supplies. “We focus on being connected to the communities we’re a part of, including giving back to local animal charities,” she explains. “We want to stand out as a different pet shopping environment. We truly care, and we want that to show.” It’s that spark for people, generosity, and business that runs throughout the whole Doody family, and Trish says her parents greatly encouraged it. “Growing up, we were always taught to be entrepreneurial and creative—to take risks, to see what could work.” But of course, like the rest of her family, Trish thinks of success as something more than the number of stores opened or profits recorded. “Success is giving back to others,” she says. “Whether it’s family, employees, the community—it’s supporting others so that everyone can learn and grow as a part of what you’ve built.” And that’s exactly what the Doody family has done.