Jamie Oliver has been recognised as the most admired individual within the restaurant industry among a group of 150 of its most senior executives.
Oliver, who opened the fifth branch of his Jamie’s Italian restaurant at Canary Wharf last week, earned industry recognition alongside Pizza Express as most admired brand and Byron, Leon and Wahaca as most admired emerging brands.
The findings are part of Allegra Strategies’ UK Restaurant Leader Report 2009, compiled following interviews with executives working for restaurant companies such as Wagamama, Ping Pong and Giraffe.
According to the report, although trade remains tough for many restaurant operators, their concerns about the financial climate are less than they were last year. Operators with average turnover of £10 per head or less have been less affected, it says.
Allegra believes the current trend of heavy discounting in restaurants will continue after the recession, with 85 per cent of those surveyed agreeing that customers had higher expectations of value as a result.
Sixty-four per cent of restaurant execs also believe fast casual dining is the business model set to grow the fastest in the next five years as consumers become more mobile and lead more informal lifestyles while 63 per cent are confident that more people will be eating out more regularly in five years' time.