The awards, held at Brixton Club House on Thursday 29 March, were the first to be given out by review website Qype and were awarded to businesses that had achieved the most positive reviews on the website and had embraced social media and engaged most with the site's users.
Opening the event, Qype's chief executive, Ian Brotherston, said the gathered nominees had enjoyed a massive achievement to get that far and had already beaten 265,000 other places listed on the site.
Gordon's Wine Bar, near Embankment in London, took the prize for Bar & Pub of the Year and was also named Place of the Year. The other bars who took prizes in the category were Sinclair’s Oyster Bar in Manchester and Ye Olde Mitre in Charterhouse, London.
Speaking to BigHospitality after accepting the award, Juan Carlos, assistant manager at the venue, which claims to be the oldest wine bar in London, said: "Many things around the world are changing and we have kept our identity. It is good to have a review; we know what the people want and what we can improve to make people happy."
Vittoria Restaurant in Brunswick Street, Edinburgh, was named Restaurant of the Year out of 7,000 venues narrowly beating Wahaca and The Bake At Home Pizza Co, now with serial investor Luke Johnson as a financial backer, to the title.
A spokesperson for the restaurant said: "We are excited, surprised, and flattered to receive an award that was decided by the most important people in our business, our customers. As a growing hospitality business, ‘customer feedback’ is a critical tool for the evaluation of our service. Winning this award is an honour and an incentive to remain focused on premium customer service.
Speaking to BigHospitality after the awards were announced, Brotherston said it was an important event to give more recognition to small businesses who punched above their weight in terms of income generation for the economy. He said hospitality, creating and drinking, accounted for the largest amount of visits to the site and review sites were important to the industry.
"You are out there anyway on the internet and people will comment upon you so you need to embrace it and you need to manage it positively. If you get negative feedback you probably need to embrace it as well because if more and more people are saying 'I didn't like the service' or 'I didn't like this meal' then by adjusting that you can make your business more successful," he said.
Brotherston also referred to the news which BigHospitality reported last month that Qype claims to take down around 3 per cent of all reviews to avoid suspicious posts.
Awards were also presented in categories including Shopping Venue, Place of Interest and Business of the Year. There will be another Qype Business Awards ceremony in Germany before a Qype World Business of the Year award ceremony in the future.
To read our special feature on how to manage your business's online reputation through review websites - click here.