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Recruitment entrepreneur’s cancer fright inspires hospitality move as Punto aims to turn Scots village into a ‘dining destination’  

17/06/2024
Danny McIntyre and the Punto team

ONE of Scotland’s most successful recruitment entrepreneurs has revealed how a cancer diagnosis inspired him to get back into business by buying a restaurant in a picturesque village outside of Glasgow. 

Danny McIntyre, 65, enjoyed a hugely successful career in recruitment, heading up the multi-million-pound firm Primestaff before selling up to management in 2018 following 25 years at the helm of the firm he founded in 1993. 

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The Paisley-born entrepreneur took a year out to fulfil life-long ambitions, including travelling the world to countries including Dubai, South Africa, Hong Kong, and Japan with wife Christine. He then took an operational role with hospitality group Yes To All, helping the business successfully navigate recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

However, everything changed in January last year, when a routine medical check-up following a cough led to the discovery of prostate cancer. Fortunately, the disease was caught at an early stage, with McIntyre undergoing radiotherapy treatment at the Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow. However, the experience prompted the dad-of-one, who also recovered from a stroke in 2021, to reassess what was important – sparking a desire to have one last go at running a business. 

The perfect opportunity arrived in Punto, an Italian kitchen and wine bar in the heart of Kilmacolm. Its owners wanted to sell, and McIntyre saw an opportunity to get back in the business saddle. More importantly, he felt he could add something to a venue in need of reinvigoration – and a community that demanded it. 

He said: “I wouldn’t have done this before the cancer. I was lucky to catch it so early, and I met plenty of people who weren’t during my treatment. It made me realise that I wanted to be busy. I needed a project that would have me more involved with people – that’s the part I loved most at Primestaff, and Yes To All – working with people every day and building a successful business around them. Luckily my wife Christine, who has been my absolute rock through everything, agreed, and we haven’t looked back.”  

McIntyre, supported by Christine, took over Punto in March this year, and while it has been an evolution rather than revolution so far, the new owner has already made his mark. The 42-seater restaurant has been fully booked at weekends, with village regulars returning and visitors making the trip from surrounding towns and villages, Glasgow – just 30 minutes away. 

McIntyre, a well-known member of the Kilmacolm community, is on-site hosting almost every day, and says an important move has been to boost day-time trade by creating an environment welcoming to local community groups and older generations in the village, with accessible lunch menus and pricing that creates all-day custom.  

He said: “Kilmacolm was crying out for another restaurant that is also a hub of the community, a place where people can meet friends, family, community groups, or business contacts, and that provides great quality food and drinks on their doorstep so they don’t have to travel. It sounds simple, but it still needs to be delivered well. 

“It’s about more than that, though. Kilmacolm is a gem that so many people in Glasgow are yet to discover. The right restaurant can help make it a dining destination and that’s a big part of what we’re aiming for at Punto. We believe we’ve added something new and exciting to the mix – and more competition drives standards but also gives more people a reason to visit.

“We want to provide an alternative to Glasgow – for locals but also people from the city. We know people in the village won’t always dine here, but when they do, they can enjoy a lovely meal. The same goes to visitors, it’s a chance to enjoy a lovely meal in new surroundings, and take in one of the west of Scotland’s most beautiful locations.” 

One of McIntyre’s first moves was to promote young and talented chef Jamie Wade, who learned his craft at restaurants including Celinos, Mar Hall, and Ingliston Estate and Country Club, to lead the kitchen. It’s the 26-year-old’s first head chef role, and he has already seized the opportunity delivering new lunch and evening menus featuring fresh pizzas, pasta, and classic Italian dishes, as well as weekly specials to delight diners.  

Despite a staffing crisis affecting large sections of the industry, McIntyre has also been able to fill all 23 kitchen and floor roles at Punto, led by front-of-house manager Toni MacAllister, through a mix of retained staff from previous owners, and also by providing opportunities for locals including young people in the village. 

He said: “I’m aware staffing challenges are affecting the industry, but we honestly haven’t felt them – perhaps it’s my background! We want to provide people with a platform to progress their career in hospitality, while also creating opportunities for young people in need of work as they study or find their feet in life. 

“It’s about building a reputation for being a good place to work, having a positive culture, and providing opportunities people want. We seem to have found the right formula.” 

The businessman, who also sits on the board of Maggie’s Cancer Centre, has also raised thousands of pounds through regular fundraising events, including a golf day at Kilmacolm Golf Club raising £15,000. He has also been involved in other Maggie’s fundraising events that raised more than £135,000.  

He added: “I understand that going back to work wouldn’t be what everybody would do in my situation, but I feel lucky I’m still able to seize opportunities like this. My advice to anybody is get yourself checked out – no matter how small the issue. There’s no sense in dying of embarrassment.”  


Punto is open seven days a week from 9am. The restaurant offers a full menu of Italian inspired dishes, as well as a range of specials every weekend For more information, including menus and bookings, visit puntokilmacolm.co.uk  

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