The UK's hospitality industry took a devastating blow in March when Covid-19 struck and businesses had to close their doors and prepare for the uncertainty of lockdown. Some businesses adapted with home delivery services, others collaborated to support their local community and some developed a digital offering for the very first time! We know there's still uncertainty around what the 'new normal' in hospitality will look like and how businesses will cope, but it's been incredible to see how many businesses have adapted and risen to the challenge.
That's why, we are delighted recognise and celebrate the fantastic work done by the hospitality industry over the last tough few months with the Hospitality Lockdown Hero Awards.
We received an astonishing 523 nominations across all categories, and although every nomination deserves recognition, our judges have made the difficult decision to choose our finalists for each category which were put to the public vote where we received 5,500 votes.
The virtual awards ceremony has already taken place and you can rewatch the livestream via the button below.
congratulations to all the winners
- Most Inspiring Product or Service
The Most Inspiring Product or Service Award celebrates a product or service that has made a significant contribution to supporting people during lockdown. The winner has demonstrated initiative and astuteness to ensure customers were queuing up (albeit, in most cases, virtually) to make a purchase.
Open Kitchen Manchester
Ordinarily, Open Kitchen are a social enterprise who create amazing meals from food which would otherwise be thrown away. During lockdown they have transformed themselves to a delivery service, tirelessly providing meals on an industrial level for the vulnerable across Manchester.While there have been many food traders who have made the switch to delivering their meals and many who have supported their communities, Open Kitchen are currently providing over 11,000 meals a week to those in need, making sure no-one goes hungry. The scale of both their commitment and the end result and been awe-inspiring to many.
Finalists: Chefbay, Claridge’s, Criton, Eagle Eye Solutions Group, Philip Watts Design
- Most Impactful Social Media Campaign
The Most Impactful Social Media Campaign Award honours a positive and successful use of social media in extraordinary circumstances. The winning campaign will have communicated a strong message and succeeded in meeting its goals, whether that be to raise awareness, launch a product or service or to drive sales.
Doing social good is at the heart of Brewgooder’s brand, so they decided to do their part by creating the #OneOnUs campaign. Brewgooder have been donating a proportion of their beer at cost price, and have created a platform that allows anyone to gift a 4-pack and message of support to an NHS employee who can claim it when they are ready to do so. Every £6 donation will cover the cost incurred to brew, pack and deliver to an NHS employee in the UK. It’s not much, but with beer nationally recognised as a currency of gratitude, it’s a small gesture to show appreciation to a tireless NHS worker that you don’t know and may never meet. A great way of saying, here’s one on us. As a result of this campaign, 6,536 NHS employees have received a 'one on us' gift pack so far.
Finalists: Hame by Adam Handling, B3 Designers, Bedlam Brewery, MacGregor's Bar, The Coniston Hotel Country Estate & Spa
- Most Innovative At-Home Experience
The Most Innovative At-Home Experience Award celebrates an experience that has made a significant impact during lockdown for its dynamism and innovation. The winner has demonstrated creative thinking and, as a result, is reshaping the at-home experiences market and pushing the boundaries of the experiences consumers can have at home.
Can't head to the pub right now? Signature Brewery can bring the pub to you.
During lockdown, Signature Brewery launched ‘Pub In A Box’, a selection of their award-winning craft beers, with glassware, snacks, a music quiz and exclusive playlists curated by music journalists to accompany the beers themselves. The contents of the box captured everything people love about going to the pub, providing a fantastic way to give people a sense of normality during an incredibly unusual time.
Finalists: Chefbay, Mac & Wild, The Coniston Hotel Country Estate & Spa, The Lost Estate, Wedgwood the Restaurant
- Best Community Initiative
The Best Community Initiative honours a campaign that has gone the extra mile to support their community during lockdown. The winning initiative has been recognised for uplifting the spirits of those around them and putting a smile on the faces of those in need.
Angel & Crown
Angel & Crown provided free meals, tea/ coffee, clothing, sleeping bags, toiletries and in collaboration with local charity, SPEAR, organised accommodation for the homeless and most vulnerable of its Richmond Community during Lockdown. This operated as a grab and go service maintaining all social distancing measures. At first, Nick Botting (landlord) subsidised the cost of this service but as demand grew, him and a number of volunteers raised money via Paypal to continue providing essentials to those who were struggling to provide for themselves. Nick and his team raised just under £7000 through the generosity of the pubs local community and with this provided 32 sleeping bags, 4895 meals, 7000 bottles of water, 6000 cups of tea/ coffee and many selfless individuals even with the risk of catching the virus themselves volunteered just over 1000 man hours. This service ran 7 days a week and at its peak was serving 70 people per day who had come from all over London in need of help. This service became a focal point of lockdown for the local community; something good for people to be involved with. Whether it was messages of support, financial contributions, clothing or donations of food and drink. Local coffee shops donated anything they could, restaurants offered any stock they had, and charities SPEAR and the Felix Project assisted them in providing support for anyone who needed it.
Finalists: Horse & Dove, Manorview Hotels & Leisure Group, OSO Arts Centre, Point A Hotels, Sommerins at Home, The Star Inn Harbottle
- Most Dynamic Collaboration
The Most Dynamic Collaboration Award is presented to a group of individuals or businesses who have come together to provide support during lockdown. This partnership has been formed to solve a need and has assisted at a time when it was needed.
Only A Pavement Away
As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, the teamat homeless charity Only A Pavement Awaystarted to see a rise in enquiries asking if they could help in providing meals to homeless people across London. From that the Only A Pavement Away Hospitality Against Homeless Campaign was set up to bring together the hospitality industry in a focused effort to provide immediate support to homeless people within London. The campaign was delivered in partnership with Yummy Pubs Co who cooked and distributed the meals, Thomas Franks Ltd who donated meals and microwavesto ensure that those who have been placed into hostels have some form of cooking facilities,and Paul Pavli Consultancy Ltd who used their network of distributors and retailers to secure supplies. In the first 15 weeks of the campaign,the collaboration helped to provide; 55,000 meals, 110,000 drinks, 86,000 snacks and 2,000 Easter eggs, as well asdistributing stocks of hand sanitizer and shampoo. The current number of homeless people receiving food has now reached 800 people per week receiving 3 meals per day. With a total retail value of goods & services provided reaching an estimated £500,000k.
Finalists: HospoLive, Place of the Way - Wrestling Demons, Supersonic Inc - 100 Day Playbook, The Core Collective, The Grand Outdoor Café
- Best Business Transformation
The Best Business Transformation Award is presented to a business that has pivoted in order to better serve the community during lockdown. The winner has adapted their business model, demonstrating flexibility, innovativeness and nimbleness to keep afloat and place themselves at the centre of the community effort.
La Tua Pasta
La Tua Pasta have been delivering fresh pasta to hospitality outlets across London and the UK since 2006. However, in March their business collapsed as deliveries were turned away and orders were cancelled. As a company they sat down and decided three aims to accomplish in anyway possible, 1 – to get their pasta to consumers, especially those sheltering, 2 –feed the frontline heroes that were working tirelessly and 3 – preserve as many jobs for their team whilst simultaneously keeping them safe. Using their contacts in the industry, as well as friends and family to help spread the word, the team changed the direction of the business, offering home deliveries to London 24 hours a day, building an online shop in 5 days, offering UK wide delivery in 48 hours, opening a small grocery store in Notting Hill and having some of their products on trial in M&S stores. So far they have fulfilled 5,000 home deliveries and they will continue to offer their delivery service post-Covid. The team kept battling in the face of severe business adversity and tried to pull everyone in the industry together to help ‘locked down’ consumers, the NHS heroes and the rest of the industry.
Finalists: Cheshire Cat Pubs and Bars, Rotunda Comedy Club, The Coniston Hotel Country Estate & Spa, The Devenish Complex, The Greyhound Inn
- Outstanding Business of Lockdown
The Outstanding Business of Lockdown Award is presented to a business who has made a significant contribution during lockdown. A forward-thinking pioneer, recognised for their dynamism, resourcefulness and support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Viva Italia Group
The restaurants of the Viva Italia grouphas shown great generosity and surpassed all community giving expectations during the pre-lockdown and lockdown periods.In March 2020 the group began reaching out to hospitals across Scotland delivering hot pizza and pasta meals from their restaurants to support NHS staff who’s work burden was increasing with the growing Coronavirus pressure. Over 30,000 pizzas and lasagnes were served to frontline workers until lockdown ended in June and on International Nurses Day, over 400 Mozza pizzas were donated to Glasgow & Paisley Hospitals.Ever resourceful, the business adapted its approach to continue serving during lockdown with the creation of the Food Hub which opened its doorsto NHS and Carer Staff, 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, vulnerable and elderly people in the Edinburgh area were among 3,000 who received free frozen pasta meals after being nominated by Tony Macaroni customers. During the month of June, Tony Macaroni opened a pizza truck where 10,000 pizzas were given free to NHS staff over a 25-day period. The Viva Italia Groups efforts really stand out, because of their complete commitment to supporting local front-line communities as well as its continued engagement with customers.
Finalists: GiveLocally, La Tua Pasta, Littleton Green Community School, The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation, Thomas Franks
- Outstanding Individual of Lockdown
The Outstanding Individual of Lockdown Award recognises an individual who has been influential and has made a significant contribution during lockdown. The winner is recognised for their energy, resourcefulness and commitment to providing support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kate Nicholls was appointed CEO of UKHospitality in early 2018, the trade association having been formed by the merger of the ALMR and the BHA. Kate had been the CEO of ALMR since September 2014, having previously worked as its Strategic Affairs Director and Head of Communications.
Kate has worked and campaigned tirelessly for the hospitality industry during the COVID-19 epidemic through the #FAIR4HOSPITALITY campaign and managed to gain the attention of the government as to how reliant we all are on the industry. Despite her resilient campaigning she never misses a message, continuously responding to those in the industry that are in need, day and night. She has stood out as a total pioneer for the hospitality industry.
Finalists: Greg Mangham (Only A Pavement Away), Frank Bothwell (Thomas Franks Ltd.), Mark Cribb (Urban Guild), Rob Kirby (Lexington Catering), Tony Matharu (Blue Orchid Hotels)