GDK partners with ex-owner of UK’s largest McDonald’s franchise

German Doner Kebab Halal Restaurant Peterborough

Credit: GDK

German Doner Kebab (GDK) has signed a new development partnership with the former owner of the UK’s largest McDonald’s franchise.

Atul Pathak, who grew 43 sites since 2003, now joins Hero brands, who own GDK, after completing a deal with McDonald’s which saw him being bought out in April.

With GDK having recently opened its 100th UK restaurant, Pathak is seeking to launch upto 30 sites, 10 of which is to be delivered across the south of England by 2023.

Building significantly on the 39 opened during 2021, the fully Halal brand is aiming to open 78 new restaurants in the UK during 2022. 

It’s exciting to be teaming-up with GDK. After almost 20 years with McDonald’s, I decided to sell my business and explore new opportunities that reflected the changes we are seeing amongst Generation Z and millennial consumers.Atul Pathak

‘A significant moment for GDK’

Calling it a “significant moment for GDK”, the company’s chief executive, Imran Sayeed, revealed: “Atul’s experience in drive-thru will also be invaluable as we explore more and develop new formats and concepts for the brand.”

While describing GDK as being “at the forefront of a new age of fast-casual dining in the UK”, Pathak said: “When the opportunity to partner with GDK arose it was a perfect fit for our new ambitions.”

Pathak opened his first McDonald’s in Southall and has employed over 3,500 staff while serving some 30 million customers per year.

GDK meanwhile employs 4,000 people, and seeks to strengthen its position as the UK’s fastest-growing restaurant chain with plans of adding another 400 restaurants in the next seven years.

During 2022, GDK also hopes to open 11 new sites in North America, and its first in Riyadh with the prominent Ajlan Bin Ajlan Group having signed as Saudi Arabia’s master-franchisee and agreed on a development plan of 100 restaurants.

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