Retailers Retailer of the Year 2021 was awarded to Wagamama CEO Emma Woods.
Emma had big shoes to fill taking the reins at Wagamama, with her predecessors David Campbell and Jane Holbrook both former Retailers’ Retailer of the Year award winners. The CEO, who has a marketing background at Unilever, Pizza Express and Merlin, has confidently upheld the Pan-Asian brand’s positive momentum under its stewardship at The Restaurant Group, adapting under pressure to the havoc wrought by coronavirus.
Having closed the estate in a cost-effective way, Woods relaunched Wagamama with innovative Japanese-style sliding screens, which were both brand-appropriate and safety conscious. One of the few brands to open new sites during the past 12 months, the company’s latest financial results under Woods show her careful cost management and shrewd rent deals saw adjusted EBITDA increase.
Winners of the other 2021 award categories include:
The Ivy Asia, St Pauls
Deal of the Year
Côte Restaurants acquisition by Partners Group
Investor of the Year
The Restaurant Group
The Best Use of Technology
Pret A Manger for its Coffee Subscription
The Hero Award
Suzanne Baker, Stonegate Pub Company
Hero Award (Highly commended)
Adelle Taylor, Côte Restaurants
"One of the best events on the calendar"
"The evening brings together the
finest operators in the leisure
and hospitality sector and is a
true celebration of excellence”
"It's the night in the annual calendar that you definitely get in the diary"