Casual Dining, the award winning trade show for the pub and restaurant sector, has revealed its founding judges for the launch of the Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards 2016.
The award ceremony will take place on the evening of 24 February 2016 at The Grange St. Paul’s Hotel in London, following the first day of Casual Dining. Not only will they form an important highlight of next year’s event, but aim to become the leading celebration of the growing multi-billion casual dining sector.
The judging panel will include some of the sector’s best known business leaders, consultants, influencers and entrepreneurs, including Karen Forrester, CEO of TGI Friday’s UK, Kate Nicholls, chief executive of The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, and Anthony Pender, chairman of the British Institute of Innkeeping.
“Our own trade show and now our own awards, Casual Dining is the place to be,” says TGI Friday’s Karen Forrester, about the new awards.
Fellow judge, and industry legend, Ian Neill agrees: “The new Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards are an outstanding opportunity to highlight achievement in the casual dining space.”
“It’s important that we recognise and praise people and companies that have contributed to the growth of casual dining and that’s why I am fully behind this initiative,” says Peter Backman, managing director of foodservice insights firm Horizons.
“The Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub awards is something I’m fully behind and I look forward to celebrating the most innovative and successful operators in the casual dining sector,” adds Paul Charity, managing director of Propel.
Following an advisory lunch last month, the stellar list of judges announced today includes (in alphabetical order):
• Peter Backman – Managing Director, Horizons
• Keith Bird, Commercial Director, Gourmet Burger Kitchen
• Chris Brazier – Group Event Director, Casual Dining
• Paul Charity – Managing Director, Propel
• Karen Forrester – CEO, TGI Friday’s UK
• Peter Martin – Vice Chairman, CGA Peach
• Mark McCulloch – Founder & CEO, WE ARE Spectacular
• Ian Neill – Industry Legend (Las Iguanas, Wagamama, Jamie’s Italian)
• Kate Nicholls – Chief Executive, The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR)
• Anthony Pender – Chairman, British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and Co-founder, Yummy Pubs
• Alex Reilley – Executive Vice Chairman, Loungers
• Lorraine Wood – Director, Arena
Recognising the importance of great design as an integral part of the brand and dining experience, the already highly-successful Casual Dining Design Awards, which previously took place during the show, will now be incorporated into the new Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards.
The Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards will include the following categories:
• Champion Of The Year
• New Casual Dining Concept Of The Year
• The Social Responsibility Award
• Casual Dining Turnaround Of The Year
• Casual Dining Marketing Campaign
• Employer Of The Year
• Best Designed Independent Casual Dining Restaurant
• Best Designed Multiple Casual Dining Restaurant
• Best Designed Casual Dining Pub or Bar
• Independent Casual Dining Restaurant Of The Year
• Independent Casual Dining Pub Of The Year
• Multiple Casual Dining Pub Brand Of The Year
• Multiple Casual Dining Restaurant Of The Year
“It really is fantastic to see the way that the sector is responding to the launch of the Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards, which we hope will become the Oscars of the casual dining world,” comments Chris Brazier, group event director of Casual Dining.
“With its own award-winning trade show, it’s only right the places where most people in the UK eat and drink out on the most regular basis is celebrated and awarded for their successes,” he says.
The Casual Dining Champion 2016 will be interviewed exclusively on day two of the Casual Dining trade show on 25 February 2016.