Azzurri Group, Wagamama, Oakman Inns, The New World Trading Co (NWTC), Dishoom and The Alchemist were among the winners at the Casual Dining Awards yesterday.

Dishoom received this year’s Trailblazer of the Year Award, while The Azzurri Group was named Casual Dining Group of the Year and Wagamama retained its title of Large Multi-Site Restaurant Brand of the Year (over 20 sites) for the third year in a row. It also added Menu Innovation (over 20 sites) and Marketing Campaign of the Year to its awards haul.

The New World Trading Company’s The Florist brand won three trophies, including New Casual Dining Concept of the Year, Best New Restaurant Site and Best Designed Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year – the latter two awards for its newly opened Liverpool venue. The company’s fourth award of the night was for ‘Employer of the Year’.

The Alchemist won another Best New Pub/Bar Site award. This time for their first welsh site – in Cardiff’s St Mary Street.

New awards categories this year included ‘Ethical Operator’ and ‘Best Family Dining Experience’, which went to Oakman Inns & Restaurants and Jamie’s Italian respectively.

Peter Boizot, the late founder of PizzaExpress, was remembered and recognised for his outstanding contribution to the casual dining industry. His posthumous Casual Dining Outstanding Contribution Award was accepted by Zoe Bowley, the company’s managing director, to a standing ovation.

Cabana, Charles Wells, Cosy Club (Loungers), Las Iguanas, Oakman Inns & Restaurants, and PizzaExpress were also highly commended in various categories.

The 2019 Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards winners:

 

Trailblazer of the Year – sponsored by Trail

Winners: Kavi Thakrar & Shamil Thakrar, Dishoom

 

New Casual Dining Concept of the Year – sponsored by Reynolds

Winner: The Florist

 

Best New Pub / Bar Site – sponsored by Lamb Weston

Winner: The Alchemist – Cardiff

 

Best New Restaurant Site – sponsored by Arla PRO

Winner: The Florist – Liverpool

 

Ethical Operator Award – sponsored by RTW Checker

Winner: Oakman Inns & Restaurants

 

Employer of the Year – sponsored by Yapster

Winner: The New World Trading Company

Highly commended: Oakman Inns & Restaurants

Highly commended: PizzaExpress

 

Menu Innovation Award (1-19 sites) – sponsored by Essential Cuisine

Winner: Caravan

Highly commended: Cabana

 

Menu Innovation Award (20+ sites) – sponsored by Essential Cuisine

Winner: wagamama

Highly commended: Las Iguanas

 

Marketing Campaign of the Year – sponsored by Chef Direct

Winner: wagamama – ‘feed your inner good’

 

Best Designed Pub / Bar of the Year – sponsored by Commercial Kitchen

Winner: Dirty Martini, Birmingham – designed by Grapes Design

 

Best Designed Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year – sponsored by London Design Fair

Winner: The Florist – Liverpool

 

Best Family Dining Experience – sponsored by Belvoir Fruit Farms

Winner: Jamie’s Italian

 

Pub of the Year – sponsored by Fentimans

Winner: The Boathouse, Falmouth

 

Independent Restaurant of the Year (under 5 sites) – sponsored by Deliveroo

Winner: The Chilli Pickle

 

Multi-Site Pub Operator of the Year (5+ sites) – sponsored by Casual Dining

Winner: Oakman Inns & Restaurants

Highly commended: Charles Wells

 

Small Multi-Site Restaurant Brand of the Year (5-19 sites) – sponsored by Boutinot

Winner: Flat Iron

 

Large Multi-Site Restaurant Brand of the Year (20+ sites) – sponsored by Coca-Cola European Partners

Winner: wagamama

Highly commended: Cosy Club

 

Casual Dining Group of the Year – sponsored by Carlsberg UK

Winner: Azzurri Group