Italian deli-turned-restaurant Lina Stores, which has just opened a huge restaurant in London’s King’s Cross, was voted Best New Scalable Concept while Lancashire-based Seafood Pub Co picked up the Food-led Pub Company of the Year gong.
Individual venues were also celebrated on the night, with Most Effective Restaurant Design going to Gloria in Shoreditch. Owned by France-based Big Mamma Group, the restaurant has made a mark on the capital since opening earlier this year with its ‘0% Brexit compatible’ kitsch trattoria design that channels a ‘Capri in the seventies’ look.
Harts Group took home the prize for Opening of the Year for its hugely ambitious Coal Drops Yard project that saw it open four venues on the same day - a Barrafina, 200-cover Mexican restaurant Casa Pastor, 100-cover Plaza Pastor and wine bar The Drop - followed by a fifth - arguably even more ambitious - al fresco restaurant, called Parrillan, at the space the following summer.
Steak-focused restaurant group Flat Iron picked up the award for Best Value Restaurant Operator Under 20 sites, with Franco Manca claiming the top spot in the Best Value Restaurant Operator Over 20 sites class.
PizzaExpress rounded off a tricky year by taking home the Best Family Restaurant Operator award with Best Restaurant Drinks Offer going to The Alchemist, for its multifarious and hugely creative bar offer.
Other awards presented by comedian Iain Stirling on the night included Best Restaurant Operator Under 20 sites, which went to Caravan, and Best Restaurant Operator Over 20 sites, which was presented to Wagamama in honour of the noodle chain having outperformed the market and consistently trading ahead of the competition for more than half a decade.
Jo Fleet, the former Ask Italian, Gondola Holdings and Wahaca managing director and current managing director at Flat Iron, was presented with the Unsung Hero Award in recognition of a career in hospitality spanning more than 20 years driving growth in some of the UK’s best loved and most recognisable restaurant brands.
The winners in full:
Most Effective Restaurant Design - Gloria
Best New Scalable Concept - Lina Stores
Food-Led Pub Company of the Year - Seafood Pub Co
Opening Of The Year - Harts Group, Coal Drops Yard
Best Family Restaurant Operator - PizzaExpress
Best Restaurant Drinks Offer - The Alchemist
Best Value Restaurant Operator – 20 sites and under - Flat Iron
Best Value Restaurant Operator – over 20 sites - Franco Manca
Best Restaurant Operator – 20 sites and under - Caravan
Best Restaurant Operator – over 20 sites - Wagamama
Unsung Hero Award - Jo Fleet, managing director, Flat Iron