Hotel group Macdonald Hotels & Resorts is to launch its first joint-partnership restaurant venture at the Compleat Angler in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.
Under the innovative structure, Macdonald will form an independent holding company with executive chef Dean Timpson for the new venture, in which it retains a majority share.
Timpson keeps his existing salary but will also be on a profit-share, which Macdonald believes will avoid the "Rolls-Royce" situation where some flagship hotel restaurants operate as loss leaders.
It also means the company will not surrender control of the outlet as happens when leasing to a third-party, but should still gain the associated halo effect of an award-laden restaurant - Timpson will be shooting for a fourth AA rosette and first Michelin star.
Alan Swinson, group head of catering at Macdonald, said: "We wanted to help Dean develop and give him a new challenge as he'd been executive chef at the hotel since 2001. This gives him a share in his own business but with the financial backing of Macdonald."
Dean Timpson at the Compleat Angler, which opens next month, will be a 36-cover eaterie serving modern British food with a European twist, set in a formal, fine-dining environment. It replaces the three-AA-rosette Riverside restaurant at the premises and will work as companion to Bowaters, a relaxed 90-cover venue headed by Mark Constable, which launches there later this month.
Macdonald has spent a total of £1m redeveloping the Angler's restaurants, with RDD Interior Architectural Design handling design duties. The group is in talks with at least two other group chefs about similar profit-sharing agreements, and Swinson believes the concept will become a powerful tool to retain talent.
By Chris Druce