CGA reveals winners of the 2020 Peach Hero & Icon Awards

Oakman Inns chairman Peter Borg-Neal picked up both the Individual of the Year and the Communicator of the Year trophies at this year’s Peach Hero & Icon Awards.

Oakman Inns chairman Peter Borg-Neal picked up both the Individual of the Year and the Communicator of the Year trophies at this year’s Peach Hero & Icon Awards.


Legendary New York restaurateur Danny Meyer, the founder of Union Square Hospitality, was presented with the first ever International Industry Icon Award for his long-term contribution to the global market.


UK Hospitality’s Kate Nicholls received the Industry Icon Award for her and her organisation’s unstinting efforts to represent the sector’s interests to Government, the media and the public.


This year’s awards ceremony was delivered virtually as part of the BIG Peach 2020 Digital Experience. While Kate Nicholls, who had co-hosted the conference portion of the event, received her trophy from CGA group CEO Phil Tate in the Peach 2020 studio, all the other winners joined on-line, with Danny Meyer joining from his home in Connecticut, USA.


As with other year’s the main Hero awards were voted for by industry members, and recognized not just the sector’s creativity and innovation but its resilience and resolve in testing times. Categories were also revamped to recognize the new industry circumstances.


Peter Borg-Neal’s commitment and continuing contribution to promoting the pub, bar and restaurant market, through setting new operating standards and representing the sector in the media, gained him double recognition with his two wins.


The Lockdown Hero award for the industry initiatives that did most to support the wider community went jointly to Feed the NHS, headed up by Leon’s John Vincent, and Feeding the Frontline, led by Tortilla founder Brandon Stephens who brought together a whole host of restaurant groups to provide meals for frontline workers.


Other winners included: Newcomer, which went to Manchester’s Escape to Freight Island; Reimagined Brand, which was won by Pizza Pilgrims; Best New Opening was Peach Pub Co’s The Boathouse at Boulters Lock, Maidenhead; Best Company went to Loungers; and Best Entrepreneurial Business was won by Dishoom.


There were also two Consumer Hero Awards presented, determined by the British public via the responses of the 20,000 people participating in CGA’s quarterly BrandTrack consumer survey.


Resurgent Brand, for the brand that had successfully reconnected with its customer-base and done the most to win new advocates, went to Hickory’s Smokehouse, while the Power Brand award, for major brands that had shown resilience through lockdown and chalked up high revisit scores, went to JD Wetherspoon.


The Special Award was presented to BrewDog for its efforts, not just in its bars but through its brewing and distilling operations, to support the community, innovate on numerous fronts and to keep the public engaged with its witty marketing.

Kate Nicholls said: “This year hasn’t been easy and there are still battles to be fought, but the way people have selflessly given of their time to feed the NHS, look after the vulnerable as well as try to keep their businesses afloat has been remarkable.”

Peach founder and awards host Peter Martin added: “We’ve revamped the awards categories to reflect those efforts – the determination, creativity, innovation, resilience and amazing camaraderie seen in our businesses. It’s been impossible to include every outstanding contribution, but this will give us all a chance to toast all of them.”

The awards were this year sponsored by: Asahi UK,, Davis Coffer Lyons, CPL Learning, RSM UK, Zonal, Diageo, Chapman Ventilation, Fourth, Omnivore and Nestle.


The full list of winners is here:

International Industry Icon, Danny Meyer, USHG

Industry Icon, Kate Nicholls & UK Hospitality

Newcomer, Escape to Freight Island, Manchester

Communicator of the year, Peter Borg-Neal, Oakman Inns

Lockdown Hero, Feed NHS and Feed Our Frontline

Reimagined brand or business, Pizza Pilgrims

Best destination/New opening, The Boathouse at Boulters Lock, Maidenhead

Resurgent Brand, Hickory’s Smokehouse

Power Brand, JD Wetherspoon

Special Award, Brewdog

Best Company, Loungers

Best Entrepreneurial Business, Dishoom

Individual of the Year, Peter Borg-Neal, Oakman Inns


For a list of all the nominees see: CGA reveals shortlists for this year’s Peach Hero & Icon awards


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