Pub groups recognised at the Retailers’ Retailer Awards

By James Wallin, MCA

- Last updated on GMT

Vibrant industry: pub groups were lauded for their fast growth and innovation in the hospitality sector
Vibrant industry: pub groups were lauded for their fast growth and innovation in the hospitality sector

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Cutting edge pub groups were recognised at this year’s Retailers’ Retailer Awards, now in their 20th year and organised by MCA, the Morning Advertiser’s sister title, at London’s Guildhall on Wednesday night.

The awards identify retailing excellence in the eating and drinking-out industry and are unique in being voted for by senior executives in the sector itself.

Fast growth

New World Trading Company, the Graphite-backed pub group, was named the fastest growing company in the UK eating and drinking-out sector over the past year.

The Chris Hill-led company topped this year’s AlixPartners Growth Company Index a year after it debuted on the list.

The currently 21-strong group, which plans to add six sites per year going forward, generated a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 66.7%.

The winner of the Index, which sees MCA partner with leading advisory firm AlixPartners, was revealed at the awards ceremony last night.

NWTC generated its £4.1m of profit off a turnover £40.1m in its most recent financial year – to March 2017. The Botanist operator has risen four places since its first appearance on the list.

Punch deal

Richard Caring was named investor of the year with deal of the year going to Heineken and Patron Capital’s acquisition of Punch. The evolution award went to ETM Group, while casual dining veteran Ian Neill who collected a Lifetime Achievement award.

Simon Potts, managing director of The Alchemist, was given The Tim Bacon Rising Star Award, which recognises an individual likely to make a significant mark on the sector.

Further notable winners were Pret A Manger chief executive Clive Schlee, who has led Pret since 2003, and received the top prize at MCA’s Retailers’ Retailer of the Year awards.

Pret A Manger was also awarded the title of Best Company at last night’s ceremony, beating JD Wetherspoon; Leon; Loungers; Nando’s and Wagamama.

Dishoom, the Bombay-style café concept, was named best concept, while Mowgli, the Indian street food restaurant concept, took home the emerging concept.

Best venue went to Soho House’s The Ned, while McDonald’s was give the best use of technology gong.

Innovation and excellence

MCA editor James Wallin said: “The winners of the 20th Retailers’ Retailer of the Year highlight the innovation and excellence on show in this vibrant industry. I hope the successes of our finalists and winners prove a timely counterpoint to some of the more negative headlines that have circled the sector of late.

“All the winners deserve a huge amount of credit but it is testament to the strength of the Pret A Manger brand that it has taken home two of the top awards just a month after our Top of Mind survey revealed it as Most Admired Brand for the ninth year running.”

Full coverage of RROTY 2018 will be featured in this month’s MCA print edition.

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