The team in Woodbridge wowed the judges with its reliable, knowledgeable, and “quirky” service, creating quite the VIP experience for its customers.
The Unruly Pig owner Brendan Padfield said: “It requires knowledge, being friendly, not overbearing, and not up-your-arse service.
“But that’s easier said than done. It’s about knowing when to back off because not everyone wants to be your friend but also knowing when it’s right to become a little more familiar and more quirky with the customers.”
The real heroes
Despite humorously describing driving his staff as “bat-s**t crazy”, he said they are still very tolerant.
He said: “Dave, my head chef, who has been with me for five years, even when we had a fire the first year we opened, he stayed with me. He is my absolute hero.
“And then there’s Amy, who has absolutely transformed the front-of-house service. It's those two. They're the real heroes.”
Padfield believes high-quality food is a necessity but the service can create a whole different experience, which is why the front-of-house team deserves equally as much credit.
A former life
Winning the award for the second time, the first time being in 2018, Padfield explained receiving this accolade again was emotional.
Padfield continued: “People say a lot of clichéd things but when I was told that we made the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list, I was abroad on holiday and my front-of-house manager said this is going to make your day.
“I opened the email and I burst into tears.
“In my former life, I did a job for 36 years that I hated. But now, I look forward to coming back from holiday and I’ve never done that in my life. And, if some of that is rubbing off on the team, then great.”
The team follow four key rules, mutual respect, teamwork makes the dream work, to always be straight forward with each other and to keep moving forward – and is evidently proving quite the mantra to go by.
“It’s about treating them like your family,” he concluded.