UK’s Best Pubs & Restaurants In The Running For Casual Dining Awards 2020

Week in week out, tens of thousands of loyal customers vote for their favourite casual dining brands with their wallets.  Despite the headlines and the challenging market, scores of innovative restaurants, bars and pubs across the UK’s high streets are thriving – with their teams working tirelessly to deliver an all-round incredible casual dining experience.  The Casual Dining Awards 2020 are for them.

Recognising the standout casual dining operators of the year, the shortlist includes nearly 70 brands – ranging from industry titans like Azzurri Group, Casual Dining Group, Greene King, Mitchells & Butlers, The New World Trading Co (NWTC), The Restaurant Group and Stonegate Pub Company (all competing for Casual Dining Group of the Year), to a raft of smaller independents and ‘Instagrammable’ new concepts ready for national expansion.  With today’s announcement, they are all one tantalising step closer to being crowned the UK’s best.

Organised by Diversified Communications UK, the Casual Dining Awards will take place at the London Marriott Hotel, in Grosvenor Square, on 20 February.  Finalists are competing across 18 categories, including Best New Restaurant Site, Best Family Dining Experience, Menu Innovation Award, Brand Marketing of the Year, and Best Designed Pub / Bar of the Year (see the full list below).

Some of the operators up for multiple awards (three or more) include Azzurri Group, Big Mamma Group, Caravan, Casual Dining Group, Dishoom, Franco Manca, Greene King, Honest Burger, Mitchells & Butlers, Mowgli, Nando’s, NWTC, Oakman Inns & Restaurants, Pho, PizzaExpress, The Alchemist, The Ivy Collection, wagamama, and YO!.

As in previous years, there’s no shortlist for the prestigious ‘Trailblazer of the Year’ Award – just a winner who will be announced on the night.  They’ll be in great company, as previous recipients include Kavi Thakrar and Shamil Thakrar, founders of Dishoom (2019), Chris Hill, CEO of NWTC (2018), David Campbell, wagamama’s then CEO (2017), and Alex Reilley, chairman of Loungers (2016).

“The Casual Dining Awards showcase the excellence constantly achieved within our sector and gives motivation to us all to try harder,” says founding judge Ian Neill, widely known as the “The Godfather of Casual Dining”.

“The Casual Dining Awards are a brilliant opportunity to recognise and acknowledge the success of great people and great brands,” agrees Jo Fleet, MD of Flat Iron.

The Casual Dining Awards shortlist in full:

New Casual Dining Concept of the Year – sponsored by Casual Dining Show

  • The Chambers
  • Circolo Popolare
  • Eggslut
  • Gloria
  • Sweet Chick
  • Vardo

Best New Pub / Bar Site

  • Alberts Schenke – Liverpool
  • The Alchemist – St Martins Lane, London
  • Cahoots – Ticket Hall & Control Room, London
  • Duke of York (Barworks) – Haggerston, London
  • The Florist – Watford
  • Mikkeller – Shoreditch, London

Best New Restaurant Site

  • Dishoom – Manchester
  • Flat Iron – Spitalfields, London
  • Honest Burger – Cardiff
  • The Ivy – Manchester
  • Pho – Cardiff
  • Pizza Pilgrims – London Bridge
  • Sticks’n’Sushi – Soho, London

Sustainable Operator Award

  • Greene King
  • Mowgli
  • Nando’s
  • Oakman Inns & Restaurants
  • The Restaurant Group
  • YO!
  • Young’s Pubs

Employer of the Year (1-49 sites)

  • The Alchemist
  • Dishoom
  • Hawksmoor
  • Mowgli
  • The New World Trading Co.
  • Oakman Inns & Restaurants
  • Peach Pubs

Employer of the Year (50+ sites)

  • Carluccio’s
  • Casual Dining Group
  • Côte Brasserie
  • Loungers
  • Pizza Hut Restaurants UK
  • Stonegate Pub Company

Menu Innovation Award (1-19 sites) – sponsored by Commercial Kitchen Show

  • The Alchemist
  • Caravan
  • Dishoom
  • Food & Fuel
  • MEATliquor
  • Mowgli
  • Pizza Pilgrims

Menu Innovation Award (20+ sites)

  • ASK Italian
  • Franco Manca
  • Fuller’s
  • Honest Burger
  • Las Iguanas
  • PizzaExpress
  • wagamama

Brand Marketing of the Year – sponsored by Chef Direct

  • The Alchemist
  • Nando’s
  • Pho
  • PizzaExpress
  • Pizza Hut Restaurants UK
  • wagamama
  • YO!

Best Designed Pub / Bar of the Year

  • The Alchemist – Brindleyplace, Birmingham (designed by Macaulay Sinclair)
  • Blame Gloria – London (designed by Finch Interiors)
  • Box – Leeds (designed by Fusion By Design)
  • Coppa Club – Brighton
  • The Florist – Watford (designed inhouse)

Best Designed Restaurant of the Year – sponsored by London Design Fair

  • Bill’s Restaurants – Spinningfields, Manchester (designed by Focus Design)
  • Circolo Popolare – London (designed by Studio Kiki)
  • Dishoom – Manchester (designed by Macaulay Sinclair)
  • Gloria – London (designed by Studio Kiki)
  • The Ivy – Manchester (designed inhouse)
  • Vardo – London (designed by Box 9 Design)

Best Family Dining Experience

  • Bella Italia
  • Franco Manca
  • Harvester
  • JD Wetherspoon
  • PizzaExpress
  • wagamama
  • Zizzi

Pub / Bar Brand of the Year (2-49 sites)

  • The Alchemist
  • The Botanist
  • London Cocktail Club
  • Oakman Inns & Restaurants
  • Peach Pubs
  • Yummy Collection

Pub / Bar Brand of the Year (50+ sites)

  • All Bar One
  • BrewDog
  • Greene King
  • Loungers
  • Marston’s
  • Young’s Pubs

Restaurant Brand of the Year (1-19 sites) – sponsored by Coca-Cola European Partners

  • Big Mamma Group (Gloria & Circolo Popolare)
  • Caravan
  • Dishoom
  • Flat Iron
  • Hubbox
  • Mowgli
  • Pizza Pilgrims

Restaurant Brand of the Year (20-50 sites) – sponsored by Boutinot

  • Bistrot Pierre
  • Franco Manca
  • Giggling Squid
  • Honest Burger
  • The Ivy Collection
  • Pho
  • Turtle Bay

Restaurant Brand of the Year (51+ sites) – sponsored by Fentimans

  • Las Iguanas
  • Miller & Carter
  • Nando’s
  • PizzaExpress
  • wagamama
  • YO!
  • Zizzi

Casual Dining Group of the Year – sponsored by Carlsberg UK

  • Azzurri Group
  • Casual Dining Group
  • Greene King
  • Mitchells & Butlers
  • The New World Trading Co.
  • The Restaurant Group
  • Stonegate Pub Company

Trailblazer of the Year – sponsored by Trail

  • No shortlist

For further information, please visit www.cdawards.co.uk.