2021 Winners

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:

Best Company

Emerging Concept 
Island Poke

Best Venue
The Ivy Asia, St Pauls

Lifetime Achievement
Bob Ivell

Best Concept

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

Evolution Award