JD Wetherspoon, Côte Restaurants, wagamama, Zizzi, and Gourmet Burger Kitchen all took home awards, while Loungers’ Alex Reilley was named ‘Champion of the year’ by the founding judges.
The 2016 winners were presented their awards by BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern at a prestigious ceremony on Wednesday 24 February at The Grange St. Paul’s Hotel in London, following the first day of the Casual Dining show. Over 300 industry professionals, including John Hutson, Steve Holmes, David Campbell and Alasdair Murdoch (CEOs of JD Wetherspoon, Azzurri Group, wagamama, and GBK respectively), were in attendance to recognise and celebrate the standout brands of the year across the growing multi-billion pound casual dining sector.
“It’s fantastic to be here, celebrating the success of businesses that are providing phenomenal growth for the UK economy,” says BBC business correspondent Steph McGovern.
Casual Dining’s group event director, Chris Brazier, says: “The casual dining market is thriving, thanks in large part to the fantastic innovations and dedication of operators and the incredible dining experience they offer. The launch of the Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards is a much overdue opportunity to celebrate their achievements and reward those companies who are making a real difference to the growth of this dynamic, fast-moving sector. The calibre of entries has been exceptional, congratulations to all our winners.”
Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards 2016 winners include:
Champion of the Year
– Alex Reilley, executive vice chairman at Loungers
“I’m incredibly honoured to win this award. There are so many people who contribute to what we do as a business and I just happen to be the person who’s at the forefront of it. It’s a real honour,” says Alex Reilley.
New Casual Dining Concept
– The Beer Kitchen
The Social Responsibility Award
– Ed’s Easy Diner
Casual Dining Marketing Campaign
– Zizzi – #ZizziTacklesCancer
Best Designed Independent Casual Dining Restaurant
– Suvlaki, Bateman St, London (designed by AfroditiKrassa)
Best Designed Multiple Casual Dining Restaurant
– GBK, St. Vincent Street, Glasgow (designed by moreno:masey)
“We’re delighted to win this fantastic award. We work with a talented group of designers that individually design every single restaurant. We’re proud of all our restaurants and we look forward to opening many more,” says Keith Bird, chief operating officer at Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
Best Designed Casual Dining Pub or Bar
– The Pint Shop, Cambridge (designed by Macaulay Sinclair)
Independent Casual Dining Restaurant
– Project Pie, Dundee
Independent Casual Dining Pub
– The Northey Arms, Bath
Employer of the Year
“We’re absolutely delighted and thrilled to have won. We’ve grown to 4,500 employees now so it’s a credit to everyone at wagamamas that we’ve got the award,” says Andy Moat, people director at wagamama.
Multiple Casual Dining Pub Brand of the Year
– JD Wetherspoon
“We’re obviously very delighted to win. For a company that’s been going for 36 years it’s great that we can still be recognised as doing something good in the pub and restaurant world,” says John Hutson, CEO of JD Wetherspoon.
Multiple Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year
– Côte Restaurants
“We are really thrilled to have won this award and are proud to have been recognised as the leading restaurant in this sector. I would like to thank all the staff in our restaurants for their continuation of delivering fresh, high quality food and excellent service,” says Rebecca Tooth, front of house operations director at Côte Restaurants.
For further information, including a full list of finalists and details of the 2016 judging panel, please visit www.cdawards.co.uk/2016-winners.