Des HagueDes Hague has been deeply involved in many charitable organizations
Des Hague is an acclaimed executive manager in the global retail food industry who is renowned as an inspirational speaker and a leading force in the hospitality business. Between 2009 to 2014, Hague held the position of President and CEO of Centerplate, Inc., which grew under his leadership to become North America’s largest hospitality business, operating predominantly in sports, convention centers, and entertainment venues in over 40 US states, Canada, and Europe with more than 40,000 employees. Through his strategy of “client-centric” model – that is, focusing on core properties and streamlining the organization to better serve its client base – the company saw improved EBITDA performance and doubled EVA in spite of the global economic recession. In 2010, Hague led Centerplate’s purchase of Boston Culinary Group, expanding the company to the #1 spot in North American event hospitality and in 2012, Hague led the buyout of Centerplate with the company’s management team and private equity firm Olympus Partners, a deal valued at $551 million. Hague’s excellent management skills elevated the performance quality of Centerplate to unparalleled heights, resulting in numerous awards and recognitions, including “Best Food and Beverage” by Convene Magazine, “No. 1 NFL Experience” by Stadium Journey, “No. 1 Best NFL Stadium to Visit” by Thrillist, “No. 1 in MLS for ‘America’s Best Stadium Food’” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, “No. 1 Ski Resort, Eastern U.S. and Canada” by Ski Magazine, “No. 1 College Football Experience” by Stadium Journey, a MIDAS (Menu Innovation and Development Award), and Gold and Silver Medals at the British Pie Awards. In addition to his high-profile position at Centerplate, Hague served on the boards of the National Restaurant Association and of Sbarro, LLC, supporting both organizations with this extensive knowledge about the food industry. Prior to Centerplate, Des Hague was the President of IHOP and a member of the Dine Equity executive team, the world’s largest causal dining restaurant operator. As a result of his national media and marketing initiatives, IHOP outperformed its competitive set by over 400 basis points and became the only family dining chain to attain positive same-store sales. Additionally, Hague was the driving force behind IHOP launching its alternative concept, IHOP Cafe, expanding the business beyond its core operations, launching a loyalty card program and placing IHOP products in the retail space.
Hague joined IHOP from Safeway, Inc., where he served as the President, General Manager of Perishable, overseeing the company’s $20 billion perishable operations including produce, floral, meat, seafood, food service and bakery. Responsible for P&L in the perishable business, he improved transactions by over 9%, introduced a meal zone solution that delivered $500 million in incremental sales, and cemented perishable business as a growth engine for the brand. He directed, mentored, and led a team of ten division presidents in marketing, category management and operations, mobilizing a team of 200,000 members. From 2003 to 2007, Des Hague served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Hot Stuff Foods (formerly Orion Food Systems), an international food franchisor with more than 2,000 locations worldwide. In 2006, he orchestrated a management buy-out of the company, which ultimately led to a 74% increase in enterprise value in less than three years. He also realigned the operational elements of the business and developed new concepts, innovative products and enhanced merchandising practices and execution.