The Hot Scots Power 40: Seumas MacInnes, Café Gandolfi

21 February 2013
The Hot Scots Power 40: Seumas MacInnes, Café Gandolfi

Ranking: 29

Seumas MacInnes is the director of the Gandolfi eateries within Glasgow's Merchant City. The business, based in two buildings in the 19th century quarter of the city, comprises Café Gandolfi, Bar Gandolfi, Gandolfi Fish and Fish to Go. MacInnes joined Café Gandolfi in 1983 as a kitchen porter and became director of the business in 1995, having bought out its founder Iain Mackenzie.

Seumas MacInnes - Career guide

MacInnes can be said to have worked in most aspects of hospitality, both before and during his time at Gandolfi. Before joining the iconic cafe in 1983, he had been employed in hotel management, gained chef qualifications and run a small catering business. When he started at Gandolfi it was as a kitchen porter before rising to manager, co-owner and owner/director.

He has extended the informal eating brand (founded in 1979 by Mackenzie) to encompass a bar (2002), fish restaurant (opened June 2007) and fish bar. The Fish to Go outlet, opened in September 2012, allows customers to take out many of the same dishes offered on the restaurant menu, including scallops and the increasingly popular grilled lobster.

The four outlets employ a total of 50 people.

Both Gandolfi and its team have won awards including the Glasgow Restaurant Associations lifetime achievement award in 2010, and Best Breakfast in 2012.

Seumas MacInnes - What we think

Gandolfi played its part in regenerating Merchant City from the late 1970s and MacInnes sees himself as keeper of the flame, while responding to customer demands and trends.

"We have to be flexible and responsive during the current economy", he told Caterer.
The four outlets mean that an all-day Gandolfi food offering is available from breakfast to dinner, while a wine club and special events have furthered this multi-faceted business.

MacInnes ticks all the boxes for offering an approachable restaurant experience, supported by social media and a website on which he demonstrates dishes from the Gandolfi menu. He is aware of the importance of locally sourced food and lists the origins of ingredients on the menu.

He is proud that local people "have a softness for Gandolfi" and is building the next generation of customers from its loyal 40-plus age group to encompass a younger demographic. His determination to uphold Gandolfi traditions (including local artists on its walls) while introducing new ones (such as Scottish tapas) should ensure Gandolfi's future.

Cafe Gandolfi website >>

Boath House chef is 2009 Scottish Chef of the Year >>

Chewing the Fat with Seumas MacInnes >>

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