The nation’s favourite restaurants have been recognised at Deliveroo’s second Restaurant Awards last night. The awards took on a special significance this year, focussing on the hard work and talent of the amazing restaurant partners who have endured an extremely tough time due to the pandemic. Due to COVID, this year’s award ceremony took place as a live event on Twitter.
The range of award categories, from Best Indian and Best Family Restaurant to Best Eco-friendly and Best Vegan Offering, reflected both traditional tastes and the latest trends in the restaurant industry. Over 400,000 votes were cast over the course of the competition, as the British and Irish public showed their support for family-run independents, high street favourites and even grocery stores offering on-demand essentials.
The final and most coveted award of the night – Restaurant of the Year – was won by The Athenian. Founded by two Londoners born and raised in Athens and Cyprus, The Athenian started off as a small street food venture serving freshly made souvlaki. With a 40% plant-based menu, The Athenian quickly gained a cult following for its authentic, fresh and nutritious food, and expanded to seven locations in London along with locations in Bristol, Birmingham, Brighton, Cambridge, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester and Reading.
During Covid, the Athenian supported Deliveroo’s NHS initiative to donate over 2,500 meals to NHS heroes and on top of this, made a 50% discount available to all NHS staff. They also launched a weekly parcel for their employees to ensure they had all the necessities during the pandemic and launched a ‘Walk to Work scheme’, paying their employees to walk to work rather than getting the tube. From showing an amazing commitment to delivery throughout the pandemic, keeping all staff employed throughout the peak of lockdown, running virtual cook-a-long’s on Instagram during lockdown and investing in delivery-only, they’ve gone over and above this year to support the community.
This award was decided by a celebrity panel of judges, including TV presenter and DJ Maya Jama, broadcaster and DJ Vogue Williams, reigning Celebrity MasterChef champ Riyadh Khalaf and Deliveroo’s CEO Will Shu. The other deserved nominees for the top spot were Pizza Pilgrims, Atis, Oro, Rosa’s Thai Cafe and Dishoom.
Each of the award winners will receive support from Deliveroo to help them grow their business and give back to their customers
Efthymios and Neofytos, Founders of The Athenian said: “We are so humbled to have won Deliveroo’s Restaurant of the Year award, after what has been an especially challenging but rewarding year. There were some incredible restaurants nominated this year who we want to thank for doing their bit too, along with our amazing staff and loyal customers.”