Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs 2020: you’ve got to be in it, to win it

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Celebrating success: the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs awards are now open for entry
Celebrating success: the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs awards are now open for entry

Related tags: gastropubs, Pubs, Pub food

The Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs is back again for its eleventh year and we want you to enter our special awards, telling the nation about the work that goes into your business to make it so great.

The list​​

The Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub Awards are voted for by top foodies and hospitality experts. These include gastropub operators (who can’t vote for their own pubs), food writers, pubco catering development managers and executive chefs, celebrity and top hospitality industry chefs, pub guide editors, industry chiefs and food operators. The voting criteria ensures the list really is decided on by the industry.

To ensure each region in the UK has an equal opportunity for their pubs to shine, our voters are broken down into six geographical regions, with an equal number of votes collected in each by the Top 50 Gastropubs Voting Academy.

In January 2020, we will be celebrating the very best of the UK’s gastropubs at a location that is currently under wraps.

At the 2019 year’s glittering ceremony, Michelin-starred Kent seaside pub the Sportsman was awarded the coveted number one spot on the prestigious list.

Many of the pubs on the list have been firm features since Top 50 Gastropubs’ inception almost 11 years ago. This includes Andrew Pern’s Michelin-starred the Star Inn at Harome, on the edge of the North Yorkshire moors, which ranked number one in 2017.

Former listees

Newcomer of the Year

This award recognises stand-out pubs that have been open for 18 months or less. Judges will look for details on investment in the business; successful food and drink promotions; strong marketing and PR; and any future development plans.

If you think your pub has what it takes to be named the best newcomer in 2019, we want to hear from you.

To enter the awards for free, visit wrbookings.top50gastropubs.com

Kerridge had two pubs on this year’s list including the two Michelin-starred Hand & Flowers and the Coach, both in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

But the pub with the biggest gong was Stephen Harris’s Michelin-starred Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent, which topped the list for a fourth time, having graced the number one spot in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

Harris is a self-taught chef who abandoned a high-flying career in the City to open his self-proclaimed “grotty boozer by the sea”.

Changing business

Front-of-House of the Year award

If your pub has the best front-of-house manager and team in the trade, they deserve recognition from their industry peers.

Winning teams of this category will be in sync with one another in order to run the best customer-focused food pub. The team’s contribution to the running of the business will be visible through up-selling, add-on sales and great dining reviews.

Those who enter the category will also face a mystery diner round of judging, so you must be confident about your team’s skills.

The front-of-house team doesn’t just tick all of the boxes when it comes to customer service, but really does go that clichéd extra mile for every guest.

To enter the awards for free, visit wrbookings.top50gastropubs.com

Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs editor Nicholas Robinson said: “Winning one of these coveted awards can change a business for the better.

“From national coverage in the press to networking with the top gastropubs in the country, the awards really do make a fantastic impact.

“We’re once again setting out to discover which gastropubs deserve the coveted titles of Newcomer of the Year and Front of House Team of the Year. The winners of these entered-for awards, the only part of the Top 50 Gastropubs event that has outside influence, will be celebrated alongside the 2019 listees. So, what are you waiting for? You can enter at wrbookings.top50gastropubs.com.”

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