Overall ranking: 45
Restaurateur ranking: 13
David Page - Snapshot
David Page is executive chairman of Clapham House Group, which he founded with chief executive Paul Campbell in 2003. It has more than 50 Gourmet Burger Kitchens (GBK) and seven Real Greek restaurants and is majority backed by private equity firm Capricorn Ventures, which owns 27.03% of the company. Page holds just less than 3% of the issued share capital in the company. Profit in the six months ended 27 September 2009 was £1.6m, down from £2m the previous year. Revenue increased by 13% from £20m to £22.5m for the six-month period.
David Page - Career history
A trained teacher, David Page started his restaurant career as a dishwasher at a franchised Pizza Express restaurant, but by 1976 he was managing director of the brand’s largest and most successful franchise group.
Page played a major role in PizzaExpress’s flotation on the London Stock Exchange in 1993, when his franchise group merged with the newly listed company. He rose from managing director to chief executive in 1996, and chairman in 1998. Page led a management buyout bid in late 2002, but was outbid by Capricorn Ventures International and TDR Capital in June 2003.
Five months later, in November 2003, Page raised £15m on the Alternative Investment Market to fund the new company, Clapham House Group. In just over a year the group had bought three fledgling London-based brands to develop – the Real Greek Food Company, the Bombay Bicycle Club and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
In 2006 it bought the 30-strong Tootsies burger chain, which had already brought about the downfall of rival owner Urban Dining, for more than £25m. The chain was placed into administration in 2009, bringing an end to an unhappy chapter.
Page is also a backer of fledgling London pizza brand Rocca.
David Page - What we think
With Bombay Bicycle Club gone, Tootsies proving to be an albatross around any operator’s neck and the Real Greek self-contained - and possibly for sale in the near future, some could question just how successful Page has been at Clapham House.
However, UK punters love a burger and, with Gourmet Burger Kitchens (GBK), Page and the team at Clapham House hit gold with a truly national chain that has adapted wherever it’s been launched. That could be tested with ambitions to take the concept to China, adding to the 15 GBK franchised outlets already in Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Greece, Dubai and Oman, and ultimately to grow the chain to 150 sites. Although it has seen off many pretenders to the GBK crown over the years the recent entry of the more formal Byron and Giraffe’s Guerrilla Burgers concept into the market means Clapham House hasn’t got things sewn up just yet in the UK.
David Page - Further information