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 as a chef in 5-star hotels including The Ritz and Sheraton Park Tower in Knightsbridge before his big break 1992 with Caprice Holdings – joining the team as Head Chef at the legendary Ivy Restaurant.

Des spent 20 years with the Caprice Group, the last 12 years as Managing Director and Group CEO, notably overseeing the acquisition and running of both Soho House Group and Annabel’s Group.

Going out alone

Going out alone

Since branching out on his own in January 2012 Des has opened a number of his own restaurants, as well as launching his consultancy which has helped clients both in the UK and overseas develop new concepts and revitalise existing venues with training, design and overall operation advice.


Clients have included the launch and management of Holborn Dining Room, a classic British brasserie at London’s celebrated five-star hotel, Rosewood London, as well as a new barbecue restaurant concept; Q Grill Chalk Farm and various rotating concepts at the roof top restaurant at Selfridges.

Whilst Des’ restaurants continue to thrive, he and his consultancy team are busy working on projects in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Manchester and London.

Des McDonald Restaurants have helped us conceptualised our restaurants and bars in London, they are always professional creative and inspirational - we would happily recommend the team.

Patrick King, CEO | The Doyle Collection

Des McDonald Restaurants partnered with us to develop our Japanese bar and restaurant, Rofuto, on the 16th floor of our Park Regis Hotel in Birmingham, they are creative, professional and have delivered at all levels of the project.

Harj Mattu, Owner | Staywell Hospitality Management Ltd

Des McDonald has been instrumental in transforming the city into one of the world’s top dining destinations; McDonald knows restaurants from kitchen to boardroom.


His management expertise lies in choosing the right location, the right building and the appropriate style with his designer.