MCA is delighted to reveal the finalists of this year’s Retailers’ Retailer Awards, with 10 hotly contested categories now open for voting.

2021 was another very tough year for operators, but there was also plenty of innovation, big deals struck, and gains made by businesses across the eating and drinking out sector.

We are excited to celebrate all these and more at MCA’s prestigious awards evening – to be held on 23 March 2022. It promises to be a fantastic night as the industry joins together at the Guildhall in London for the first time in two years, for a night of celebration, entertainment and networking.

Companies going head-to-head in the Best Company category this year include Loungers, Greggs and Five Guys, while those breaking through in the Emerging Concept category include Megan’s, Rudy’s Pizzeria and Street Burger by Gordon Ramsay.

The likes of Leon, McDonald’s and itsu have been named as finalists in the Best Use of Tech award, while those in contention for Best New Opening include Sessions’ Shelter Hall in Brighton, New World Trading Company’s new concept The Furnace, in Sheffield, and Manahatta from Arc Inspirations, in Birmingham.

And as always, the senior industry is able to vote for who they feel deserves to be named Retailers’ Retailer of the Award – the ultimate accolade on the night. The finalists this year are: Nick Collins, CEO, Loungers; Nick Mackenzie, CEO, Greene King; David Page, executive chairman, Fulham Shore; Karen Jones, chair of Hawksmoor, Prezzo and Mowgli; and Jeremy King, CEO, Corbin & King.

There are also several new awards categories this year: International Newcomer and the Sustainability Award – with the winner of the latter to be decided by a panel of expert judges.

The other categories open to voting are: Best Concept, Deal of the Year, The Evolution Award and Investor of the Year. There will also be a special Lifetime Achievement Award to be awarded on the night.

The Hero Award is also back for 2022, with a winner to be crowned by a panel of expert judges, from five nominees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the past 12 months.

We would be delighted if you could take part in the voting for the awards, which celebrate the very best concepts and individuals in the UK eating and drinking out sector.

These awards are decided by you, senior industry figures, so it’s important that we hear who you believe should be named our winners.

To vote, please click here. Please note you cannot vote for your own company, or companies under the same ownership.

The full list of nominees are as follows:


Best Concept

The Ivy Collection

Pizza Pilgrims


Flight Club

Franco Manca


Best Company



Five Guys


Oakman Inns


Best Use of Tech

Leon – for its digital screens and drive-thru tech

McDonalds – leader of the pack with recent investments in AI

Big Mamma Group – for its operator-focused payment app Sunday

itsu – for its enhanced customisation and back of house efficiencies

YO! – digital ordering and payment, click and collect and automated belts


Deal of the Year – sponsored by AlixPartners

Punch acquired by Fortress Investment Group

Hawthorn acquired by Admiral Taverns

Tortilla’s IPO

Pho acquired by TriSpan

Gail’s acquired by Bain Capital

Leon acquired by EG Group


Investor of the Year

Boparan for its multi-brand offering The Restaurant Hub

Bridgepoint’s investment in itsu

Redcat Pub Company & Oaktree Capital’s fast-growing pub portfolio

Trispan for its investment in Pho

Nightcap for its investment in Adventure Bar Group


Best New Opening – sponsored by Chapman Ventilation

Sessions’ Shelter Hall, Brighton

Hawksmoor, Canary Wharf

Eataly, Liverpool Street

Haugen, Stratford

The Furnace, Sheffield

Manahatta, Birmingham


Emerging Concept


Marugame Udon

Rudy’s Pizzeria

Neat Burger

Street Burger Gordon Ramsay


The Evolution Award

itsu for its move into evenings and hot food

Azzurri’s Coco di Mama for its virtual kitchen rollout 

Leon for its move into drive thru

Pret for its repositioning away from city centre heartland

YO!’s continued development into omnichannel and retail 


International Newcomer


Marugame Udon






Sustainability Award (to be decided by a panel of judges) – sponsored by Pernod Ricard

The Alchemist



Darwin & Wallace




Hero of the Year Award (to be decided by a panel of judges) – sponsored by Red Bull

Nik Lowery, property director, Arc Inspirations

Ian Cutler, head of safety, Mitchells & Butlers

Charlie Warren, senior managing partner, Pizza Pilgrims

Antony Doyle, ops director, Lounges

Mike Buckley, head of safety, audit and stock, Revolution Bars Group


Retailer’s Retailer of the Year – sponsored by Uber Eats

Nick Collins, CEO, Loungers

Nick Mackenzie, CEO, Greene King

David Page, executive chairman, Fulham Shore

Karen Jones, chair of Hawksmoor, Prezzo and Mowgli

Jeremy King, CEO, Corbin and King