Luke Johnson

Luke Johnson

Luke Johnson is a man whose CV runs to several pages, he’s a restaurateur, businessman, author, columnist and chairman of a number of not-for-profits including The Institute of Cancer Research. As a former Chairman of Channel 4 and the Royal Society of Arts, there are few after-dinner speakers to equal Luke’s credibility and breadth of experience.

It all started when he was studying medicine at Oxford (yes, he’s a qualified doctor too). While he was there, he interviewed Richard Branson who inspired him and by the time he graduated, he was already running a number of businesses and clubs.

Luke is the pioneer behind several instantly recognizable high-street brands he began with Pizza Express (growing it from 12 to 150 restaurants), then launched Strada and, as part-owner, sold Giraffe to Tesco for £50m. He also founded Signature Restaurants, which includes The Ivy and Le Caprice.

He is Chairman of Fast Track, the UK’s leading networking events and research firm focusing on Britain’s top-performing private companies. He is also director of two theatre production partnerships, owns Cruise.co.uk and Neilson Active Holidays and sits on the board of Zoggs and Brompton Bicycles.

In recent years he’s become big in Brighton, with large stakes in The Laine Pub Company and coffee group Small Batch – now set to roll out beyond the city’s boundaries. He’s also the owner of Brighton Pier.

Luke describes himself as an “unrepentant capitalist”. He believes in entrepreneurs and risk-takers, rather than big business or government. Not surprising for a man who has achieved so much, he says that “the greatest enemy is boredom and idleness”.

Luke’s speeches are both entertaining and provocative. He speaks passionately about the contribution of entrepreneurialism to the good of society, and the personal value of optimism, determination and self-reliance. As well as his business interests, Luke has a regular column in the Sunday Times, and has also written two books, Start It Up: Why Running Your Own Business Is Easier Than You Think, and Maverick: Dispatches from an Unrepentant Capitalist.

To book Luke Johnson to speak at your event please call a Prime Performers Booking Agent on 020 7251 8222 or email your enquiry to info@primeperformers.co.uk