Over 80 restaurant and pub operators from across the UK are now one step closer to being crowned the nation’s best, following the announcement of the Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards shortlist today.

The awards, organised by Diversified Communications UK, recognise and celebrate the standout restaurant and pub operators of the year across the growing multi-billion pound casual dining sector.

Operators up for multiple awards (three or more) include Zizzi, Las Iguanas, ASK Italian, Bistrot Pierre, Brewhouse and Kitchen, Haché, Hubbox, KuPP, The Alchemist, and wagamama.  While Azzurri Group, Boparan Restaurant Group, Casual Dining Group, Greene King, Living Ventures, Mitchells & Butlers, Stonegate Pub Company, The Restaurant Group, and Whitbread, are all competing for the title of ‘Casual Dining Group of the Year’ – a new category for 2018.

As in previous years, there’s no shortlist for the prestigious ‘Trailblazer of The Year’ Award – just a winner who will be announced on the night.  The awards ceremony will take place from 7pm on 21 February 2018 at the London Marriott Hotel, in Grosvenor Square, following the first day of the Casual Dining trade show.

Casual Dining’s group event director, Chris Brazier, says: “Once again the sheer quality of this year’s awards entries has been outstanding.  From the big names to the smaller operators, the 2018 shortlist boasts an extraordinary array of talented, innovative operators who are really driving the sector forward and delivering an incredible casual dining experience.  One thing that really stands out is the sheer breadth of choice on offer – consumers have never had so much choice.  Congratulations and good luck to all our shortlisted finalists.”

The 2018 award finalists are:

New Casual Dining Concept of the Year – sponsored by Reynolds

  • Babel
  • Grand Pacific
  • Lockhouse
  • Tabun Kitchen
  • The Common Restaurant
  • The Vurger Co

Best New Pub / Bar Site – sponsored by Lucozade Ribena Suntory

  • Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchen – Ashton Lane, Glasgow
  • J D Wetherspoon – The Royal Victorian Pavilion, Ramsgate
  • Tank & Paddle (Novus Leisure) – Minster, London
  • The Alchemist – MediaCity UK, Manchester

Best New Restaurant Site – sponsored by Fentimans

  • Belgo – Crowne Plaza, Kings Cross, London
  • Bistrot Pierre – Mumbles, Swansea
  • Hubbox – Bristol
  • KuPP – Oxford
  • Lussmanns Fish & Grill Restaurants – Tring
  • Zizzi – Bedford

Small Employer of the Year (under 20 sites) – sponsored by Commercial Kitchen

  • Brewhouse and Kitchen
  • Dishoom
  • Flat Iron
  • Framptons Cafe Bar and Kitchen
  • The Alchemist
  • Yummy Pub Co.

Large Employer of the Year (20 sites +)

  • Bistrot Pierre
  • Casual Dining Group
  • Loungers (Lounge & Cosy Clubs)
  • PizzaExpress
  • Toby Carvery
  • YO!

Menu Innovation Award – sponsored by Essential Cuisine

  • ASK Italian
  • Babel
  • Bella Italia
  • Bill’s Restaurants
  • Filmore & Union
  • Haché
  • Jamie‘s Italian
  • Las Iguanas
  • wagamama
  • Zizzi

Marketing Campaign of the Year

  • Brewhouse and Kitchen – ‘Brewhouse & Kitchen Academy’
  • GBK – ‘Brisket Means Brisket’
  • Haché – ‘Date Night’
  • Las Iguanas – ‘Iggy and Friends’
  • MOD Pizza – ‘MOD Pizza Doctor – Freshers Week take-over’
  • Pizza Pilgrims – ‘Pizza Box Art Gallery – Shoreditch’
  • Prezzo – ‘Fans’ Favourites Menu’
  • Toby Carvery – ‘Toby Brings Us Together’
  • wagamama – ‘Vegan Menu Launch’
  • Zizzi – ‘The Spirit of Social Dining’

Best Designed Pub / Bar of the Year

  • Balls Brothers (Novus Leisure) – Adams Court, London (designed by Spatialized)
  • Grand Pacific (Living Ventures) – Manchester (designed by Michelle Derbyshire)
  • J D Wetherspoon – The Royal Victoria Pavilion, Ramsgate (designed by KDPA)
  • Spotted Horse (Young & Co Brewery) – Putney, London (designed by Fusion by Design)
  • Store Street Craft Bar – Hilton DoubleTree, Manchester (designed by ABDA Creative Design & Build)
  • The Alchemist – MediaCity UK, Manchester (designed by Macaulay Sinclair)

Best Designed Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year (Under 20 sites)

  • Belgo – Crowne Plaza, Kings Cross, London (designed by Superfutures)
  • Cinnamon Kitchen – Oxford (designed by DesignLSM)
  • Fancy Crab – London (designed by DesignLSM)
  • Felix Seafood Grill – Billericay, Essex (designed by DesignLSM)
  • Hubbox – Bristol (designed by Simple Simon Design)
  • KuPP – Southampton (designed by Jones AD)
  • Lussmanns Fish & Grill Restaurants – Tring (designed in-house)
  • SmokeWorks – Station Road, Cambridge (designed by Loci Interiors)

Best Designed Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year (20 sites +)

  • ASK Italian – Park Street, London (designed in-house)
  • GBK – Southport (designed by Moreno Masey Ltd)
  • Giggling Squid – Wokingham (designed in-house)
  • Las Iguanas – Temple Street, Birmingham (designed by B3 Designers)
  • PizzaExpress – York (designed by Quadrant Design)
  • Prezzo – Northumberland Avenue, London (designed by Keane Design)
  • Zizzi – Gandy Street, Exeter (designed in-house)

Independent Pub of the Year (under 5 sites) – sponsored by Budweiser Budvar UK

  • The Malt House – London
  • The OHH Pub Company – various locations
  • The Old Ale & Coffee House (Buff and Bear Saloons) – Salisbury
  • The Royal Oak – Marlow
  • Waxy O’Connor’s – various locations

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

  • Alston Bar & Beef – Glasgow
  • Arepa and Co – London
  • Framptons Cafe Bar and Kitchen – various locations
  • KuPP – various locations
  • Lupita Mexican Restaurants – various locations
  • The Chilli Pickle – Brighton
  • The Mayfair Chippy – London
  • Zerodegrees – various locations
  • Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen – London

Multi-Site Pub Operator of the Year – sponsored by McCain

  • All Bar One
  • Brewhouse and Kitchen
  • Chef & Brewer (Greene King)
  • Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars
  • Hush Heath Estate
  • J D Wetherspoon
  • Red Mist Leisure
  • Redcomb Pubs
  • Yummy Pub Co.

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

  • Blackhouse
  • Flat Iron
  • Haché
  • Hubbox
  • Koh Thai Tapas
  • Red’s True Barbecue
  • The Cosy Club
  • The Stable

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

  • ASK Italian
  • Bella Italia
  • Bill’s Restaurants
  • Bistrot Pierre
  • Harvester
  • Jamie’s Italian
  • Las Iguanas
  • Pho
  • wagamama
  • YO!
  • Zizzi

Casual Dining Group of the Year – sponsored by Carlsberg

  • Azzurri Group
  • Boparan Restaurant Group
  • Casual Dining Group
  • Greene King
  • Living Ventures
  • Mitchells & Butlers
  • Stonegate Pub Company
  • The Restaurant Group
  • Whitbread

Judges for the 2018 awards include Bob Ivell, chairman of Mitchells & Butlers; Karen Forrester, CEO of TGI Friday’s UK; Mark Fox, CEO of Bill’s; Keith Bird, COO at GBK; and Kate Nicholls, chief executive of The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers.

For further information, please visit

Save the date for Casual Dining 2018

To register to attend the Casual Dining trade show, taking place at the Business Design Centre in London next year, please visit and quote priority code CD5 (direct link:



Media enquiries to:
Please apply for press accreditation to Casual Dining show here:
Emma-Louise Jones, Head of PR
t: +44 (0)1273 645134
e: [email protected]

Katrina Randall, Senior Marketing Executive
t: +44 (0)1273 645139
e: [email protected]

Sponsorship enquiries to:
Eva Ellis, Sales Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645167

Chris Brazier, Group Event Director
t: +44 (0)1273 645123
e: [email protected]


Casual Dining won ‘Best Tradeshow Exhibition under 2,000sq.m’ at the Association of Event Organisers’ Excellence Awards in 2014 (the year it launched) and 2015.  It was a finalist for the same award in 2016 and 2017.

Awards logo:
Show logo:

High res images are available upon request:
Awards 2017:
Casual Dining 2017:
Casual Dining 2017:

Diversified Communications UK (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough and Nailsworth.  Diversified UK’s food portfolio includes Casual Dining; Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards; lunch!; Commercial Kitchen; Natural Food Show at Natural & Organic Products Europe; Nordic Organic Food Fair in Malmö, Sweden (co–located with Natural Products Scandinavia); and Natural and Organic Awards.  For more information, visit:

Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face–to–face events, digital and print publications and television stations.  Diversified serves a number of industries including: seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine, and business management.  Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified employs over 850 staff, across eight divisions in seven countries.  For more information, visit:

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