Andrew Guy

12 May 2005
Andrew Guy

Overall ranking: 96

Restaurateurs ranking: 32


Andrew Guy is the managing director of Gourmet Holdings (formerly Madisons Coffee). Having quit the coffee bar market in 2003, the group hired Guy to identify new acquisitions as it transformed itself into a restaurant group.

It currently owns six gastro-pubs under the Bel and the Dragon name and four Richoux restaurants.

Career guide

Guy, who was born in 1948, started as an area manager for steakhouse chain Berni Inns in 1969 before moving on to Mansfield Brewery Company and Shipstones Brewery in Nottingham.

From 1978 to 1984, Guy worked in Texas for 1776 Restaurants, mostly as director of operations. He returned to the UK as operations director for Bob Payton's My Kinda Town for nine years.

Guy joined City Centre Restaurants (now The Restaurant Group) in mid-1993, initially as managing director of Garfunkel's. He added Chiquito's, Frankie & Benny's and Est Est Est to his remit and, in October 2000, was promoted to chief executive

He joined Madisons Coffee as a part-time executive director in March 2004 and became managing director in June 2004 when it was renamed Gourmet Holdings.

What we think

Guy steered City Centre Restaurants (CCR) through some difficult times and transformed it from a hotchpotch of restaurants into a focused group with five brands. "He has turned a business that was clanking towards the coast back into open sea," concluded the judges who awarded him the 2003 Caterer & Hotelkeeper Catey Group Restaurateur of the Year award.

Guy developed Garfunkel's from three airport outlets in 1993 into a major player with 27 airport locations in 2003. He built up Chiquito's into the UK's largest Tex Mex chain and led the team that developed Frankie & Benny's, now one of the fastest-growing, full-service brands.

In 2001 Guy sold the under-performing Deep Pan Pizza, Wok Wok and OK Diner chains. When Garfunkel's and Caffé Uno were struggling in 2002, he added 18 Frankie & Benny's to turn a previous half-year loss of £6.28m into a profit of £6m. When he left CCR at the end of 2003, its share price had doubled from its 2001 low.

Madisons Coffee had grown to more than 44 branches since entering the coffee bar market in 1992 but was struggling. It exited the London coffee market in 2002 and sold its remaining 27 branches in November 2003. This left the group with the four Richoux restaurants it had bought in 2000 from Groupe Chez Gérard (now Paramount).

Guy identified the Bel and the Dragon chain of gastro-pubs as a platform for growth and Gourmet Holdings bought three branches in Berkshire and Surrey in June 2004. By November, it had acquired three more gastro-pubs in Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire for conversion to the brand.

Thanks to the refocus, Gourmet Holdings started 2004 with its first half-year pre-tax profit since its 1998 flotation on the Alternative Investment Market. In the year to 27 June 2004, it converted a £744,000 pre-tax loss into a £775,000 profit.

From 2000 to 2002, Guy served as chairman of the Restaurant Association and vice-chairman of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and was instrumental in their 2003 merger. He remains a director of the BHA.

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