Livingston James is delighted to be retained by German Doner Kebab to appoint a CFO

The Company

German Doner Kebab (GDK) is the most well-known brand in the Hero Brands portfolio. Headquartered in East Kilbride, Glasgow, GDK has 169 restaurants thriving in the UK, Europe, Middle East & North America.  GDK is targeting rapid expansion across the UK and International markets to dominate the kebab category globally. GDK generated £163m system sale and is well positioned to be the dominant #1 kebab brand globally.

GDK’s game changing kebabs are made from the highest quality ingredients, with lean cut meats cut fresh to order, and never held overnight, in a signature waffle bread with secret recipe sauces using a unique blend of herbs and spices. With a strong modern brand that resonates well amongst a primary Gen Z audience, GDK has created a genuinely distinctive and aspirational brand brought to life in modern and dynamic restaurant environments.

GDKI is the brand owner of the GDK brand and has appointed United Brands Ltd, as the Master franchise for the UK. Both GDKI and United Brands are wholly owned subsidiaries of Hero Brands.

The North American operation is wholly by GDKI. Having opened the first restaurant in 2021, there are now 11 restaurants trading in North America with GDK now looking to make a step change in performance and has recently announced plans to open another 10 new restaurants in North America in 2024 and to have c.200 sites in 5 years.

Beyond North America GDKI has appointed Master Franchisees to operate the brand in the UAE, KSA and Sweden. GDKI is now looking to accelerate performance in its existing international markets and to open up several new international territories. GDK has recently announced plans to have c. 900 sites across 15 markets in 5 years.

Led by the GDKI CEO there is now an experienced Senior Management Team in place to catapult the growth of GDK across the UK and the rest of the globe, supported by a discrete and dedicated support office team of c.40 people. To complete this Senior Management Team a CFO dedicated to GDK is now required.

The primary responsibilities of this role include:

  • Member of the GDKI leadership team
  • To lead the businesses’ planning and budgetary control processes to ensure accurate and timely financial reporting and forecasting (including P&L, Balance Sheet and Cashflow) for UK, North America and GDKI’s International business
  • To ensure the integrity and efficiency of transaction processing (including payroll) whilst ensuring adequate financial controls are in operation throughout the business
  • To ensure compliance with all local regulatory reporting and tax regulations and lead the external audit process
  • To provide robust decision support information to ensure the financial implications and risks are fully understood
  • To ensure the business is adequately financed in line with its Business Plan requirements. Manage the businesses relationship with Banks and other sources of finance
  • Ensure business systems used by the business (including EPOS) meets the needs of the business and satisfy the data protection policies of the brand
  • Support all M&A activity involving GDK
  • Leadership of GDK Finance Team


Key Candidate Requirements:

  • Degree qualified with a strong academic track record
  • Professionally qualified accountant (CA, ACCA, ACMA, etc.)
  • Proven experience in a senior finance leadership role, preferably as a CFO or Finance Director
  • Strong financial acumen and analytical skills, with the ability to make sound strategic recommendations
  • Experience in a related role (Hospitality) and ideally experienced in a franchised system
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to effectively collaborate and influence internal and external stakeholders
  • Strong leadership with the ability to motivate and develop the Finance team
  • Knowledge of relevant financial regulations, compliance standards, and reporting requirements in the UK and North America
  • Strategic mindset with the ability to think critically and make sound decisions in a dynamic business environment
  • Strong ability to multi-task and prioritise multiple projects and requests simultaneously, within a fast-paced, intense, deadline-driven environment
  • IFRS and US GAAP knowledge would be ideal


If you are interested in finding out more about this role, please reach out to Mark Lewis at [email protected] or see the full position profile below for full details.

German Doner Kebab – CFO – Position Profile

German Doner Kebab is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status or pregnancy and maternity

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