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Des McDonald

Des McDonald


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Des McDonald has 35 years’ experience in the restaurant and hospitality sector. As former CEO of Caprice Holding and Soho House, Des has extensive experience in working within private members’ clubs. Des owns and operates his own restaurants including Q Grill, Forest at Selfridges, Rofuto and Vintage Salt. Working closely as an advisor and consultant for Eataly, Selfridges Group, Four Seasons, Millennium plus many others, Des is a hands-on concept and delivery specialist in the restaurant bar and coffee shop sector and has extensive experience in Middle East, USA and Europe.

Born in East London, Des McDonald was predestined to go into the restaurant industry, following a long tradition in his family. After leaving culinary school, he honed his skills and built up his knowledge by cooking in 5-star hotels including The Ritz and the Sheraton Park Tower in Knightsbridge. In 1992 he got his big break with Caprice Holdings working as Head Chef at the legendary Ivy Restaurant.
He enjoyed a very successful 20 years with the Caprice Group, working for the last 12 years in a Managing Director and Group CEO role. He also oversaw the acquisition and running of Soho House Group and Annabel’s Group.

In January 2012 he made the decision to set up on his own, create and develop his own restaurants and also following various requests set up an advisory/consultancy company which has helped clients, revitalising and updating the standards of operation, training, design and overall structure to bring sales, GP’s and covers back in line. Also, enjoying working with new ventures, helping with the concept/design and overall operation both in the UK and Overseas.

In May 2013 Des opened his first solo venture, the critically acclaimed Fish & Chip Shop on Upper Street, N1. Following its success, in February 2014 he consulted on the launch and management of Holborn Dining Room, a classic British brasserie at London’s newest five star hotel, Rosewood London. Next came a new barbeque restaurant concept; Q Grill Chalk Farm. Des also had the opportunity to launch On the Roof with Q, a pop-up roof top restaurant at Selfridges that summer. It was a great success and still transforms seasonally under the vision of Des.

In 2015 Des rebranded his restaurants on Upper Street & Liverpool Street to Vintage Salt, following the success of the Selfridges rooftop pop up of the same name. He has plans to expand his portfolio includes more Vintage Salt restaurants and a second Q Grill at Liverpool Street.
Whilst Des’ restaurants thrive, Des has been busy working on projects in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Manchester and London.

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