Legendary names and rising stars make power list of North’s most significant and influential hospitality operators. This year’s operators cover 210 brands, 1012 sites and over 21,800 employees,

The NRB Top Fifty 2017, in association with Kuits Solicitors, has been announced with a mix of long-established names and an exciting ten new entries.

Thom Hetherington, CEO of organisers Holden Media, says “This year’s list has shown steady churn with an influx of new entrants particularly from Yorkshire and the North East. Research by CGA Peach demonstrates that the region’s ambitious, independent operators are thriving despite increasing competition, and it is the people who make up the NRB Top Fifty who are driving this dynamic.”

“I think that in terms of volume, variety and sheer quality Northern food and drink lovers have never had it so good,” added Thom.

Three special achievement awards were presented to Jimmy del Guidice & Mark McQuater of Revolution Bars Group, Gary Usher of Sticky Walnut and Paul Moran & Jeremy Roberts of Living Ventures.

Thom Hetherington (CEO Holden Media), Jimmy del Giudice (Revolution Bars), Tony Lyons (Kuits Solicitors)
  • Jimmy del Giudice & Mark McQuater were chosen for taking on a brand which they knew required an overhaul, and overhaul it they did. They judged the market, changed the offer, and reaped the rewards, Progress has been relentless, and their new super-premium offering seems to have hit another customer sweet spot.
Thom Hetherington (CEO Holden Media), Gary Usher (Sticky Walnut), Tony Lyons (Kuits Solicitors)
Thom Hetherington (CEO Holden Media), Gary Usher (Sticky Walnut), Tony Lyons (Kuits Solicitors)
  • Gary Usher was selected as an individual who is living and breathing the model of what a contemporary restaurateur can be, with funding via crowd-sourcing, marketing via social media, and an emphasis on accessible, neighbourhood dining. Despite all this the underlying focus is on classical impeccable quality across all sites.
Thom Hetherington (CEO Holden Media), Paul Moran (Living Ventures), Tony Lyons (Kuits Solicitors)
Thom Hetherington (CEO Holden Media), Paul Moran (Living Ventures), Tony Lyons (Kuits Solicitors)
  • Paul Moran & Jeremy Roberts received the award because after losing the heart and soul of their team and their business, they have simply powered the company forward, building management teams, spinning off brands, delivering expansion. They continue to shape the Northern Hospitality industry and with a resilience, ambition and Tim Bacon would have admired.

A panel of Northern hospitality experts in the fields of hospitality finance, property, law and consultancy deliberated and cogitated through hours of research and judging. The prestige of sealing a place on the list matters more than ever with those included becoming part of the influential NRB Top 50 Alumni association as well as receiving VIP invitations to events including the exclusive NRB Debate and the Too Many Critics Manchester dinner.

The NRB Top Fifty is produced in association with Kuits Solicitors and sponsored by The Russell Partnership, Metis Real Estate, Jelf Manson & CGA Peach.

The invitation only NRB Top Fifty awards reception, supported by Fumo Manchester & JW Lees, took place at 3pm on 21 March 2017 at Northern Restaurant & Bar, the largest hospitality exhibition outside London. It also formed part of NRB Fringe which, as well as the awards and the exhibition, included the NRB Debate, Action Against Hunger’s Too Many Critics Manchester dinner, a host of industry association meetings and visitor special offers in bars and restaurants across the city.