Meet the MD: Daniel Gill of Dine

Meet the MD: Daniel Gill of Dine

What started as an outside catering company in Leeds 17 years ago has now grown into a major events group turning over £2.37m in the last financial year. BQ caught up with Dine's group managing director Daniel Gill to hear about his journey.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

My position as group managing director at Dine mainly involves focusing the excellent management team on our goals, as well as providing support, leadership and ideas. I also work on events and with my own clients. 

A key part of my role is working with our team of chefs to continuously develop our products and food. Ultimately, I ensure that Dine constantly innovates and delivers on our promise to achieve the ‘Dine Difference’ for our clients.

 

What is it the company does?

Dine was originally established as an outside catering company, aiming to deliver Michelin quality dining to clients throughout Yorkshire. 

Over the past 17 years, the business has expanded and developed in response to market demand. 

Dine now offers a broad range of products; ‘Dine Hospitality’ provides elegant delivered buffets, ‘Dine’ provides our concept to completion hospitality service at a range of spectacular venues, or clients’ homes & offices.

‘Dine Collection’ offers the ultimate in event planning and catering (the team have been called on to cater in Cannes and we have even catered for HM Queen Elizabeth).

‘Dine at the Mansion’ is a beautiful listed venue in the heart of Leeds’ Roundhay Park, which comprises a café restaurant in one part of the building alongside exclusive wedding & events facilities in the other part.

Finally, our ‘Dine Consultancy’ service provides full hospitality consultancy & venue management to clients such as the National Trust and BNP Paribas.

 

Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

Fine food and events have always been a big part of my life. My father Michael Gill ran Pool Court, the first Michelin starred restaurant in Leeds and from then on I knew I wanted the same, and more. 

After leaving Edinburgh University, I was fortunate to work in London, training under renowned restaurateur Prue Leith and working at locations such as No. 10 Downing Street and the V&A. I then worked with ‘Mustard’ – one of the world’s best event catering companies with clients such as Lord Sainsbury and the Rothschild Family.   

I moved back to Yorkshire and launched Dine in 1998 with the aim to offer these same standards of innovation, quality and service from our base in Leeds. 

 

What do you believe makes a great leader?

You have to be clear about what you believe in, what your organisation stands for and how you deliver excellence in terms of service and product to every client. Providing ambitious and exciting leadership is also vital.

Perhaps most important of all is to embody these values: All of the management team at Dine, including myself, regularly work on client events.

 

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position? 

Over the past couple of decades, Dine has established a reputation for excellence and innovation. 

Given that we cater for more than 100,000 guests each year, our greatest challenge is to make sure that every single one of them enjoys our creativity, expertise and high standards of food and service.

 

How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

I am glad to say that an excellent team and the fact that we work in a very positive environment, where clients are nearly always celebrating a landmark event, means that stress levels are generally pretty low. Cycling to work through the Park helps as well!

 

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

James Bond – nearly there…

 

Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

Courtesy and professionalism are vital core values within any company. 

At Dine, we work hard to make sure that everyone has a productive and fulfilling time at work by planning continuous staff training, as well as regular team away days to inspirational and educational venues. 

Dine trips have included Charlie Trotter’s restaurant in Chicago, The George V in Paris and wine tasting trips to Mouton Rothschild, Veuve Clicquot & Krug.

 

Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

We have a fantastically strong product and a great set of experts ready to deliver them.

Building on our success to date, our strategy is to expand our existing services into different sectors and further across the UK. 

Plans for next year are already looking very exciting and we will shortly be making an announcement about new key strategic partnerships with prominent venues.

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Base your enterprise on the thing which excites you. Be clear and consistent with those around you and invest time to concentrate on each and every client to ensure that they get the very best product and service. 

This will reap rewards both financially and personally as a genuine passion for what you do is often the key to a successful business.