Oxfordshire Pub Group wins 'Pub Company of the Year' at National Awards
Oakman Inns & Restaurants, founded by entrepreneur, Peter Borg-Neal, was named 'Pub Company of the Year 2013' at last night's Eat Out Awards held in London's Roof Gardens just five years after Peter started the company.
The Eat Out Awards are dedicated to the pub and restaurant market, and celebrate the very best business practice in this fast-moving sector.
Borg-Neal, who founded the Hertfordshire-based company in 2007 with his first pub restaurant, The Akeman in Tring, was delighted that the judges had chosen Oakman Inns over some stiff competition. In addition to three properties in Hertfordshire, the group owns three properties in Oxfordshire - The Old Post Office in Wallingford, Blue Boar in Witney and has recently acquired the Crown & Thistle in Abingdon.
"I am absolutely thrilled for Oakman Inns and all those who have supported us over these first six hectic years with advice, investment and time. But more importantly I am thrilled for my marvellous teams across all six properties. They have understood my ethos that it was possible to build successful modern pubs that really do sit at the centre of their community; pubs that become the meeting place for the young and the place to network for the town's business groups; pubs that support local charities and sports clubs, and that help town centres to thrive. But most of all, this award has been won by all our loyal customers - whose support has proved the point. Pubs are meant to be at the heart of the action - and they are our heart."
The judges' citation said they were "... excited by this forward-looking pub business which set out a vision for the 'modern pub' back in 2007. Since then, company turnover has grown to over 9 million annually with year on year sales growth of around 30%. The judges were particularly impressed with its multi-session service and community involvement and agreed that if you had a local, you’d want it to be an Oakman Inn."
Clare Riley, editor of Eat Out, said: "It was great to see the industry come together for the event: We're delighted with the response to our inaugural Eat Out Awards. All of the winners and indeed runners up should be very proud of their achievements. Trading out on the High Street is tough and so it's crucial that we reward the pub and restaurant companies going above and beyond in our sector to drive sales and deliver great customer experiences."
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