Inside track by Mark Wingett. Academics in the US believe that instead of thinking of this period as a recession or downturn, we should be using the term "reset”, arguing that the innovations spurred by hard times will fill the landscape of the post-recession economy. The British economist of innovation, Christopher Freeman, found evidence that innovations not only accelerate but bunch up during economic downturns only to be unleashed as the economy begins to recover, ushering in powerful new waves of change. Looking at the seven nominees in the 2013 Retailers’ Retailer Emerging Concept category, it is hard not to agree with that line of thinking. For me consumers are in a privileged position where the speed of innovation of offer, service and design is ahead of expectations. To roughly use a well-known saying; “consumers have never had it so good”. First up is Burger & Lobster, the fast-growing concept launched only last year by the owners of Goodman, the upscale Russian steakhouse chain. At the forefront of the limited-menu-offer brigade, this is the “does-what-it-says-on-the-tin” offer, but one that delivers on price and customer experience. It recently secured its fourth site in the capital and is eyeing up more. MeatLiquor, shares B&L’s no booking, great value offer DNA. The pin-up boy for the pop-up/street food generation, it encompasses sister site MeatMarket and soon to open MeatMission. Questions over scalability remain but with a fourth site in the pipeline, talk of moves into Europe and £12m offers from private equity players, the concept is a game changer for the industry and has opened the door for a whole raft of new operators and innovators. Where question over scalability have been labelled at MeatLiquor, the next four nominees have had one eye fixed on expansion since the day of their respective conception. Tortilla, led by Brandon Stephens and backed by Quilvest, is making sure it is out in front of the growing Mexican fast-casual category, while the Jamie Barber-led, Cabana, looks set to do the same for the Brazillian-focussed market. Camino, the impressive tapas-based restaurant and bar chain led by Richard Bigg, has been more of a slow burn, but is gearing up to stretch its legs after the success of established sites in King’s Cross and Canary Wharf, plus its noteworthy latest opening in Monument. It is understood to be in talks regarding new investment as it looks to grow its three-strong estate in London to 10 by 2015. The growth of POD, the healthy fast food concept, led by founder and chief executive Tim Hall, has been a known success story for some time. The group now operates 23 sites after opening eight this year and has many more in the pipeline as it moves towards a target of a 50-strong estate by 2014. Private equity has been circling for a while and a process is likely to take place over the next 12 months. Finally, and very much a leader in the craft beer bar movement, is BrewDog, the fast-growing Scottish brewer, bar operator and social media/marketing player, which has spread its brand and offer across the UK this year with six openings as it nears full-year turnover of £12m, revitalising drinking circuits and filling column inches along the way. Each of the magnificent seven mentioned are the top echelon of a larger group of innovate concepts that have emerged over the last three years to push boundaries and to challenge established operators to rethink and revitalise their own offers. In a market that is calling out for some positive news, their progress and success is much deserved and needed. The Retailers' Retailer Awards, now in their 15th year, recognise the best companies, concepts and individuals in the pub, bar and restaurant market. These awards are unique as they are nominated and voted for by senior executives from the industry itself. The prestigious awards, will take place on 27th February 2013 at The Dorchester on London's Park Lane. The awards take their name because they identify retailing excellence in an eating and drinking-out environment. Market positioning, great products, attention to detail and flawless execution are the hallmarks of past and present winners. The voting has now commenced, closing in December. A full list of nominees for the 2013 Retailers’ Retailer awards can be found at