Restaurant Business of the Year 2014: Meet the finalists

Startups presents the three top businesses shaking up the restaurant industry…

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With restaurants opening left, right and centre across the UK there’s no shortage of places to eat but which new eateries are the pick of the crop; offering good quality food, value for money and a great atmosphere?

A new category for this year, the Restaurant of the Year award will champion one of the UK’s most exciting early-stage eateries disrupting the highly-competitive culinary market.

From creative menus to excellent service, this award is looking to identify a new restaurant with excellent potential based on revenue growth, profitability and success to date.

The finalists

Sosban & The Old Butchers

Pitched as a “restaurant with a twist”, Anglesey-based Sosban & The Old Butchers offers diners a completely new restaurant experience serving up a ‘surprise menu’ every night for the price of £43.70 a head. Its unique business model has quickly found favour with restaurant goers, founders Stephen and Bethan Stevens say they have been full every night since opening and its figures show a similar story – turnover in 2014 is up 29% on 2013. It has even amassed support from the press and industry; the Telegraph listed it as one of the best 500 restaurants in the UK and Ireland, and it has featured in both the Good Food and Michelin Restaurant guides.

Read the full Sosban & The Old Butchers profile here.

Sugar Supper Club

Founder Neil Bradley’s second business venture, Sugar Supper Club, is a perfect example of entrepreneurial perseverance. Forced to fold his first business, restaurateur Bradley decided to give the start-up world another go and his decision has paid off. Launched in September 2013 after securing a grant from local business support and two crowdfunding campaigns, the Northern Ireland supper club which serves French-style cuisine is already profitable and a hit with the locals. Its success is partly down to Bradley’s innovative approach of changing the menu each week so it’s “like a pop-up but on a permanent basis”.  

Read the full Sugar Supper Club profile here.

The Yorkshire Meatball Company

Said to be the UK’s only specialist meatball restaurant The Yorkshire Meatball Company (YMCO) has, in a matter of a few months, brought a new concept to the restaurant industry and food experts have taken note. Winner of the Harrogate Hospitality and Tourism Awards and shortlisted for three other leading accolades, the company’s unique approach to food coupled with its use of quality ingredients (every item on the menu is locally sourced and many of its drinks come from Yorkshire breweries) has seen it hit the ground running. Founder David Atkinson has plans to launch a chain of meatball restaurants so watch this space.

Read the full Yorkshire Meatball Company profile here.

The Judges

There’s no better judge for Restaurant of the Year than successful restaurant entrepreneur Iqbal Wahhab OBE, founder of popular Borough haunt Roast and Westminster’s Cinnamon Club. Wahhab will be looking to award the eatery which stands out amongst a sea of competitors and will be joined by judges Dale Murray CBE, David Lester of, Greg Ingham of MediaClash and Chris Slater of Simply Business.


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