Dani Garcia: chef 100 million euros
Ten years ago, Dani Garcia thought about quitting the kitchen. His New York restaurant went wrong, his La Moraga brand ended up in court, and the relationship with Marbella-based Meliá Don Pepe took a turn for the worse. “I felt bad. I didn’t care if I went from the cashier to the grocery store,” he recalls. This is the second thing that comes to his mind when, at the end of 2018, he obtains his third Michelin star in the restaurant that bears his name. The first thing that crossed his mind was to shut it down, as he did months later. In the fall of 2019, Marbellian descended from the throne of haute cuisine to devote himself to something much broader: gastronomy, he did so with businessman Javier Gutierrez, with whom he now heads, in tandem, the Dani Garcia group.
“I’ve dreamed about it all my life, but the people around me have always let me down. I have never found anyone who understands me before in 2020 and obtained an operating result (ebitda) of € 800,000 ”, explains the chef, whose turnover reached 25 million euros in 2020 and an operating result (ebitda) of € 800,000.
The paths of García and Gutiérrez crossed in 2014, in a chasm full of emotions for the chef. Its current partner has taken the first step by offering a collaboration on its Volapié series. It was not revealed, but Garcia told him he wanted to be with him for what it was. Barely 24 hours later, they struck a deal that took its first steps in April of the same year with the double opening of Bebo and Dani Garcia at Puente Romano, on Marbella’s Golden Mile. The following year, Gutiérrez sold Volapié to the Nazca Venture Capital Fund and the Dani García group took off. Now, in full frenzy, openings are multiplying in Ibiza, Madrid, London, Miami, New York, Saudi Arabia and Paris, with a vast network of home delivery kitchens deployed under the La Gran Familia Mediterránea brand with Kfund as an investor. By 2021, they plan to reach $ 40 million in revenue – with four million in profits – and by 2022, they will break the billing barrier of $ 100 million – and $ 10 million in profits. “We can be one of the largest food and beverage management (F&B) platforms in the world. We have the brand, the knowledge, the team and the funding. If we do not succeed, we will have the impression of having failed ”, declares with ambition Javier Gutierrez, CEO of the group.
Working in tandem. Dani Garcia is the creator, his job is to think. “I am dedicated to creating the brand, what it should be, its mission and the technologies to use. The chef says my most important job ends when the restaurants open. Javier Gutiérrez is responsible for numbers, management, logistics and personnel. They both speak the same language. They both speak the same language, ”says the entrepreneur, trained between Germany and the United States, and working in the real estate industry, he says he is obsessed with watching his team grow – that be it the opening team, the finance team or the sales team. Big data-. He likes his members to take more responsibility and they don’t want to leave the group. “I hate going out,” he said. “Except when necessary,” he adds.
What they need in the medium term are hundreds of chefs, although one of their most famous engagements is Sandra Manresa, who came from Google to develop the AI strategy for La Gran Familia Mediterránea, a project of Link (Food delivery) Developed when booking and planned years ago. There are already 10 cuisines between Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Malaga and Marbella, with a service including pasta, sandwiches, sushi, salads or cocktails. The goal is to have 20 kitchens by the end of the year and 60 by 2022, with a presence in all Spanish cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. They also made an agreement with Sam Nazarian’s C3 business group to open another 150 kitchens over the next five years in the United States, while also considering the United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia and America. Latin. The actual restaurants will act as the lance commander and then supply all the artillery.
They make sure they get calls every week to open restaurants around the world. It’s very selective, but in 2021 the slots are piling up. Bibo Ibiza arrived in May, in June Leña arrived at the Hesperia Hotel in Madrid (where Santceloni’s restaurant was located) and in July Bibo also arrived at the new Mondrian Shoreditch hotel in London, owned by the Robin brothers, the one of the greatest British fortunes. In August, the role of El Pollo Verde and Casa Dani will take place in New York with the support of C3, and at the end of the summer will come the sea lion on an area of 800 square meters in Kempinski Doha (Qatar) . This is followed by two Accor openings in Miami at the SLS Brickell Hotel and three in Saudi Arabia, with four more to open in 2022. Next spring, they will land at Maison Delano in Paris. The list is endless.
“We have a good structure,” summarizes Gutierrez, who thinks they will probably have more than 2,000 employees over the next year, or three times the current 700. “I’m looking back and never thought I’d be here in seven years. Now we want to play in the major leagues, ”adds the businessman, who estimates that within five years they will be able to reach 300 million in turnover. “It’s ridiculous, difficult and very creative to put it all together. It generates more pressure than the three stars, but honestly we are doing very well, ”said Dani Garcia. Today, he does not think of throwing in the towel, but still leading the gastronomic revolution. In childbirth, the chief warns, “We will soon be announcing things that no one in the world has done.”