Mackay Restaurants names new president

Chad Mackay, the son of Mackay Restaurants founder Paul Mackay, has been named President and Chief Operating Officer, according to a statement released yesterday by the restaurant chain.

Mackay, 35, has served as Vice President of Business Operations, and officially moved into the top spot Oct. 1.

“I’m confident that Chad is the best person to guide this company into the future,” Paul Mackay said. “He will keep the focus on what we do best, providing each and every guest with an exceptional dining experience.”

Paul Mackay founded Mackay Restaurants in 2000 after 25 years in the fine dining field. Anchored by the El Gaucho steakhouses in Seattle, Tacoma and Portland, Mackay Restaurants has grown to encompass Waterfront Seafood Grill on the waterfront in Seattle, Sea Grill in Tacoma, Troiani Ristorante Italiano in downtown Seattle, and an urban luxury inn, The Inn at El Gaucho.

Seattle native Chad Mackay began his own career in the restaurant industry at the age of 12, working as a busser, server, prep cook and chef. He graduated from Seattle University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and served as a business and technology consultant for a number of companies, before coming back to the restaurant industry in February 2003 as the VP of Business Operations.

In his new role as chairman, Paul Mackay will devote increasing attention to expanding the hugely successful El Gaucho concept into markets beyond the Northwest.

Ken Sharp, the company’s executive chef, will assist company’s new president with day-to-day operations.

“Throughout our growth, we will never lose sight of one thing,” Chad Mackay said, “and that is the exceptional dining experience. That is the franchise my father created and the legacy he is passing down to me.”