The co-founder of the group behind such brands as Gusto, The Alchemist and the New World Trading Company, collected the Best Individual prize at this year’s Retailers’ Retailer of the Year Awards, organised by the Publican's Morning Advertiser's sister title M&C Report.
Bacon emerged from an assorted shortlist of eminent business leaders from the eating and drinking-out market, narrowly beating: Simon Emeny, chief executive of Fuller’s; Andy Bassadone, director at Bill’s; Harvey Smyth, chairman of Gondola; Mike Tye, chief executive of Spirit Pub Company and Julian Metcalfe, founder of Itsu.
The awards, in their 17th year, are unique in that they are the only ones voted for by senior executives from the industry itself. They are, therefore, a true reflection of what the market thinks, identifying the best companies, concepts and individuals.
It is the second time that Bacon has collected the top award, after being named Retailers’ Retailer in 2005. It was a double celebration for Living Ventures, which collected this year’s Best Company prize, narrowly beat off competition Fuller’s, JD Wetherspoon, KFC, Nando’s and Pret A Manger. The 38-strong group, which is on to report full-year turnover of c£75m, is set to further expand into Glasgow and London this year.
The prestigious awards, which took place on 4 March (last night) at The Dorchester on London’s Park Lane, take their name because they identify retailing excellence in an eating and drinking-out environment. Market positioning, great products, attention to detail and flawless execution are the hallmarks of past and present winners.
BrewDog came top in this year’s AlixPartners Profit Tracker, which tracks companies with the fastest-growing profits within the UK’s eating and drinking out sector, with a compound annual growth rate of 133.6%, putting it ahead of Bill’s Restaurants (121.7%) and Ed’s Easy Diner (108.5%). It is the second time in three years that the fast growing craft beer bar operator has topped the profit tracker list.
- Cote, the French brasserie chain, collected the Best Concept prize, ahead of Bill’s, BrewDog, Byron, Ed’s Easy Diner and Itsu.
- The Rising Star prize was jointly won by Chris Hill, managing director of New World Trading Company and Stephen Wall, co-founder of Vietnamese chain Pho.
- The successful IPO of Patisserie Holdings, the owner of Patisserie Valerie, won the Deal of the Year awards.
- Piper Private Equity, the backer of Loungers, Be At One, Turtle Bay and Hickory’s Smokehouse, was named Investor of the Year.
- Red’s True Barbecue, the fast-growing brand, won the Best Emerging Concept award, narrowly beating: Five Guys, Honest Burgers, The Stable, Turtle Bay and White Brasserie Co.
- The Best Venue award went to Dishoom’s latest opening in King’s Cross, which is a sprawling industrial temple to modern, fun Indian cuisine.
- Wahaca was the winner of a brand new category for 2015 - the Best use of Technology, while Leon, the healthy fast food chain, collected the Evolution Award.
The awards were generously supported by event partners: AlixPartners, BDO, Bidvest Logistics, Britvic Soft Drinks, Chapman Ventilation, Fresh Direct, Hammerson Lavazza, Olswang, Pernod Ricard and Santander.
The process to determine the winners saw a 700-strong bank of senior operators, industry experts and suppliers - known as the Retailers’ Academy - nominate the shortlists in each category. The shortlists were then sent back out to the Academy for final voting, with the finalists with the most votes emerging as the winners.