As Senior Managing Partner of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Tom Kaplan has worked alongside master chef Wolfgang Puck for more than 34 years in the development and operation of his world-renowned restaurants. His responsibilities range from overall business and financial management, company expansion and design supervision, to community relations and philanthropy for the company’s 26 domestic and international locations.
Since 1982, Puck and Kaplan have grown the company from several individual restaurants into a collection of restaurants known as the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. Primary brands include Spago, CUT, re/Asian Cuisine, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, as well as Lupo, WP24, Five Sixty, The Source, Wolfgang Puck Steak, Cucina, and Wolfgang Puck American Grille. Over the years Kaplan has nurtured key strategic partnerships with luxury hotel brands and major casinos such as the Four Seasons, Dorchester Collection, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International, Ritz Carlton, St. Regis and Boyd Gaming. Currently, four new restaurants are in development internationally, as well as two in the United States.
Raised in Stamford, Connecticut, Kaplan relocated to Los Angeles in 1980 after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Bowdoin College that same year with a Bachelor’s degree in Art History, Visual Arts and a coordinate major in Environmental Studies. He has been a resident of Las Vegas since 1992.
Kaplan is intimately involved in community service and philanthropy. He is a member of the prestigious Brookings Institution Metropolitan Leadership Council and is a Board Director for the Council for a Better Nevada and the Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas as well as a member of the UNLV Foundation Advisory Board. He is also the Co-Chairman of the newly formed The Nevada Board, and was Vice President of the Puck Lazaroff Foundation from 1986-2004 and a Director for The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas, from 1999-2014.
He was named Nevada Restaurateur of the Year by the Las Vegas International Hotel & Restaurant Show in 2005 and one of the “50 Most Influential” in Nevada by In Business in 2008. In 2003, he was in the first induction group of the Las Vegas Dozen which honors men in the Vegas valley for their role in business and community involvement. In 2011, Kaplan was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by Greenspun Media Group’s publication Vegas Inc.
To compete with the rigors of the hospitality world, Kaplan enjoys running, cycling, skiing, and hiking. His passions include architecture, art, environmental issues, music, and travel all shared with his wife, Elizabeth and son, Austin.