Vapiano, the Italian fresh casual dining concept, has named one of its UK managers as its “Vapianisti of the Year” ahead of 5,000 other members of staff worldwide.

Alex Fisher, general manager at the Great Portland Street restaurant in central London, was chosen for the title by the company’s chief executive officer Gregor Gerlach and senior management at the international restaurant group’s annual convention in Vienna.

Gerlach said: “Alex has delivered a very strong culture of sales and standards at his restaurant. He is a team player who assists his fellow Vapianisti to develop within the company.”

Vapiano UK managing director Phil Sermon said; “I am immensely proud of Alex. This is a major award within the company and it is wonderful that a manager at one of the two Vapiano restaurants in England has triumphed ahead of strong competition from Vapianisti at our 135 restaurants worldwide.”

Fisher said: “I am very proud to have won the award and thank my colleagues for all their skill and hard work in ensuring the Great Portland Street restaurant is so successful.”

Another member of staff at The Great Portland Street restaurant, assistant manager Ermi Benayoun, also won an award. His innovative ciabatta bread recipe won him ‘idea of the year’ and he was awarded a Vespa - Fisher won a Rolex watch.