Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards 2017: entries are open

The Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards, organised by Diversified Communications UK, is now accepting entries for 2017.

Launched in 2016, the awards recognise and celebrate the standout restaurant and pub operators of the year across the growing multi-billion pound casual dining sector. Due to unanimously positive feedback, and a long waiting list of attendees and sponsors, these important awards are moving to a new, bigger venue – Marriot London Grosvenor Square – for 2017.

“We were delighted with the response to the first Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards. It really was a highlight of the year for many operators and their teams who deserve to be recognised and celebrated. I’m pleased to announce that following feedback from our judging panel of industry leaders, the second annual awards will be even bigger, better and a great way to celebrate with clients and colleagues. Thanks to all the judges and sponsors for their support,” says Chris Brazier, group event director, Casual Dining.

The 2017 judging panel features some of the biggest names in the sector, including Karen Forrester, CEO of TGI Friday’s UK; Jane Holbrook, COO at wagamama; Mark Fox, CEO of Bills; Keith Bird, COO at GBK; Garry Duncan, operations director at Nandos; and Kate Nicholls, chief executive of The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers.

Commenting on the awards, Mark Fox says: “The Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards is a unique event to celebrate all that’s great in Britain’s fastest growing food sector.”

"The inaugural awards helped to foster a sense of community and identify outstanding achievement,” says returning judge Ian Neill. “I think we have something special to look forward to with the 2017 Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards."

Multiple and independent casual dining restaurants, pubs and bars are encouraged to submit their entries online at Submissions are already flooding in and the final deadline for entries is Friday 25 November 2016.

There are 15 categories in all, including three new awards – for community engagement, sustainability and environmental practices, and menu innovation. Confirmed sponsors already include Reynolds, Lamb Weston, Budvar, Chef Direct, Bar Foods and McCain, with more to be announced shortly. The evening starts with the ‘Trailblazer of the Year’ Award, which has been nominated by the judges.

The 2017 award categories are:

  • Trailblazer of the Year (nominated by the judging panel) – sponsored by Lamb Weston

  • New Casual Dining Concept of the Year

  • Casual Dining Community Award (new for 2017)

  • Casual Dining Green Award (new for 2017)

  • Casual Dining Marketing Campaign – sponsored by Chef Direct

  • Best Designed Independent Casual Dining Restaurant

  • Best Designed Multiple Casual Dining Restaurant

  • Best Designed Casual Dining Pub or Bar

  • Independent Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year

  • Independent Casual Dining Pub of the Year – sponsored by Budvar

  • Small Casual Dining Employer of the Year (under 50 employees)

  • Large Casual Dining Employer of the Year (50 employees or more) – sponsored by Reynolds

  • Menu Innovation Award (new for 2017)

  • Multiple Casual Dining Pub Brand of the Year – sponsored by McCain

  • Multiple Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year – sponsored by Bar Foods

The full list of 2017 judges includes (in alphabetical order):

  • Peter Backman, MD of Horizons

  • Lizzie Barber, head of marketing at Cabana

  • Keith Bird, chief operator officer at Gourmet Burger Kitchen

  • Chris Brazier, group event director of Casual Dining

  • Paul Charity, MD of Propel

  • Scott Collins, co-founder and MD of Meat Liquor

  • Garry Duncan, operations director at Nandos

  • Karen Forrester, CEO of TGI Friday’s UK

  • Mark Fox, CEO of Bills

  • Jane Holbrook, chief operating officer at wagamama

  • Aforditi Krassa, founder of Aforditi Krassa

  • Peter Martin, VP of CGA Peach

  • Mark McCulloch, founder and CEO of We Are Spectacular

  • Ian Neill, industry pioneer and chairman of K10 Restaurants

  • Joyselyn Neve, MD of Seafood Pub Co

  • Kate Nicholls, chief executive of ALMR

  • Tina Norden, project director at Conran & Partners

  • Tony Reynolds, MD of Reynolds

  • Brian Whiting, owner of Whiting & Hammond

  • Lorraine Wood, director of Arena

  • David Worthington, independent design consultant

The awards ceremony will take place on the evening of 22 February 2017 at the London Marriott Hotel, in Grosvenor Square, following the first day of the Casual Dining trade show.

For further information, to enter or to book tables please visit

Save the date for Casual Dining 2017

Casual Dining – the UK’s only dedicated trade event for casual dining operators (including multiple and independent pubs, bars and restaurants), has opened its visitor registration for 2017.

The multi-award winning event returns to the Business Design Centre in London on 22-23 February 2017.

“The Casual Dining show is the two days a year when our sector gets together. It’s an essential forum for sharing new ideas, innovations and insights,” says Simon Kossoff, co-founder of Carluccio’s.

“Casual Dining show is great for catching up with my key suppliers, all under one roof, coupled with some great newcomers with challenging ideas and innovation – what’s not to like,” says Mark Rush, head of food innovation at Revolution Bars Group.

For more information, and to stay up-to-date with all the latest news and exhibitor information, please visit

Share this article on LinkedIn or Twitter
Featured Posts
Recent Posts