D&D restaurants, Des Gunewardena

When Des Gunewardena teamed up with Sir Terence Conran to open up a restaurant in London, people told them they were “totally, totally stupid”. What does a “finance guy and a designer” know about the hospitality trade?


Today, the company that evolved from that partnership, D and D restaurants, operates more than 40 establishments in London, Paris and New York.


In this episode, Des tells us they set up a restaurant because Terence was fed up with France having better ones than Britain, and how they became so popular he read one woman had to change her own kitchen décor because someone said “it looked like a Conran restaurant, and she was very upset”.


He also reveals his top tips for business, including advice for people venturing into the restaurant trade following two years of turmoil thanks to the coronavirus pandemic... and what he thinks of the UK government’s support for hospitality. 


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