A number of major pub, restaurant and coffee shop operators have been recognised for their menu innovation.
The winners of the Menu Innovation Network’s sixth Menu Innovation and Development Awards (MIDAS) include Stonegate Pub Company, which won the new pub/restaurant concept category for Missoula Montana Bar & Grill.
The branded pub restaurant award went to Spirit’s Chef & Brewer concept, and the casual dining category was won by TGI Friday’s. The city bar dining award was given to Marston’s for Pitcher & Piano, and the coffee shop category was won by Harris & Hoole.
Orchid won the dessert prize and Mitchells & Butlers won the family dining award for Harvester as well as the premium pub dining prize for Premium Country Dining. The children’s menu award was given to Marston’s for its Little Monsters offer.
The Mediterranean casual dining award went to Prezzo and the neighbourhood pub award was given to Greene King for Meet and Eat; Greene King also won the value pub restaurant award for Hungry Horse. JD Wetherspoon won the town and city pub category and Strada was recognised for the best new menu item, Puccioa burgers.
Eat was named best sandwich shop and SSP won the travel category for Mi Casa Burritos. The breakfast category was won by Whitbread for Premier Inn and the fairtrade category was won by Compass Group for Eat Fair.
Responding to Stonegate’s award for new pub/restaurant concept, Perry Huntley, head of food development at the managed operator, said: “We are over the moon about winning this award, not least because it was judged by a panel of leading industry experts and peers. We are really proud of our new concept, which reflects the passion and the pride of the state of Montana, while the food combines the authenticity of quality American dishes.
“We have worked closely with our suppliers to ensure the menu is a genuine reflection of a true Montana restaurant, sourcing ingredients such as our UDSA steaks from farms across the American Plains.
“The feedback we have received from customers as well as the judging panel of this award has been overwhelmingly positive for the concept. The combination of the authentic American menu, unique within the UK, and the genuine warmth of hospitality rarely experienced outside of the USA, is proving to be a hit with customers.”