EATALY LEADS R200 RESTAURANT AWARDS WINNERS Restaurant brands Eataly, Marugame Udon, Slice by Pizza Pilgrims and Patty & Bun were among the winners at the R200 Restaurant Awards 2021 held in London this evening (9 November). Italian food hall chain Eataly’s long-awaited first UK site in Broadgate was named as the Best New Opening, beating competition from shortlisted finalists including Bundobust’s Manchester Brewery and Brighton’s Shelter Hall.

Marugame Udon, the world’s largest udon noodles and tempura restaurant chain that made its debut in London’s Liverpool Street earlier this year was named as One to Watch. The brand takes a fast casual approach to noodles, with food served quickly and with mains from as little £3.45 and vegan dishes making up 30% of the main menu. The Scalable Concept Award went to Slice by Pizza Pilgrims while Urban Pubs and Bars, which owns venues including Paradise Kensal Green and Opera Tavern, was crowned Food-led Pub of the Year. Restaurant Group of the Year (under 20 sites) went to JKS Restaurants with Honest Burgers taking home the Restaurant Group of the Year (over 20 sites) award.

This year’s R200 Awards, held at Plaza Pastor and Casa Pastor at Coal Drops Yard, also recognised companies and individuals in a number of new categories introduced this year to reflect the challenges faced during the pandemic. The Resilience Award was given to Patty & Bun for its early adoption of its very successful DIY burger kits and Bone Daddies took home the Innovation Award for the rollout of its virtual chicken wing-centric brand Wing Daddies across the capital.

Other awards handed out on the night went to Dishoom, which was named Employer of the Year, and to Wahaca, which took home the Sustainable Restaurant Group of the Year as judged by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). “Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby’s Mexican street food group has always built sustainability into the fabric of its restaurants, its people and of course the food it serves. While others might have understandably looked to cut corners during the pandemic, Wahaca has just upped its game on all the really big issues,” says Juliane Caillouette Noble, SRA managing director. “Looking to cut their carbon footprint they’ve made the menu 50% vegetarian, switched to British Halloumi and created Wahacomole made from British fava beans not avocados. “Anyone ordering in Wahaca food now can home compost the packaging after a switch to bagasse boxes made of sugar cane waste, while a major in-house waste training programme has resulted in industry leading 85% recycling rates. “And because Wahaca recognises that people are the heart of every good restaurant business, they’re working with several organisation to offer employment to people often overlooked in the jobs market and dished up 50,000 meals for ICU staff in ten London hospitals when they most needed feeding.” Individual awards went to UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, who was named Person of the Year for her tireless work representing the hospitality sector during the pandemic, and Tim Gould, Hawksmoor managing director, who was named this year’s Unsung Hero.

The full list of winners: Best New Opening, sponsored by Shelley Sandzer – Eataly One to Watch, sponsored by Shield Safety - Marugame Udon Scalable Concept Award, sponsored by Zonal - Slice by Pizza Pilgrims Employer Award, sponsored by Entegra - Dishoom Sustainability Award, sponsored by Estrella Damm – Wahaca Innovation Award, sponsored by Orderpay - Bone Daddies Resilience Award, sponsored by Just Eat - Patty & Bun Food-led Pub Company, sponsored by Yumpingo - Urban Pubs and Bars Restaurant Group of the Year (under 20 sites), sponsored by Just Eat – JKS Restaurants Restaurant Group of the Year (over 20 sites), sponsored by Zonal - Honest Burgers Unsung Hero, sponsored by Poppleston Allen, Tim Gould, Hawksmoor Person of the Year – Kate Nicholls