Gusto wins Best Italian Restaurant Chain award

Gusto Italian, the premium casual dining group, has been crowned the UK’s best Italian Restaurant Chain (Under 50 Sites) at the Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Industry Awards 2022.

Fighting off competition from a range of national restaurant brands, the judges recognised that Gusto Italian’s highly innovative menu, striking visual identity and experience-led offer made the brand a stand out winner in this category.

Last night’s award ceremony, hosted by acclaimed chef, Theo Randall, and stand-up comedian, Andrew Ryan, celebrated both independent and chain restaurants which provide an unparalleled dining experience based on quality output and operational success. The awards were judged based on research data from Kantar, Lumina Intelligence and Mealtrak and a surprise visit from an unidentifiable judge who conducted ‘mystery shopper visits.’

Over the past 12-months, Gusto Italian has undergone significant self-funded investment in new and existing sites to create a stylish, premium dining experience for customers.

Recognised by the PAPA Awards, the newly refurbished Gusto sites include innovative design concepts that have been a huge hit with customers; the Theatre Kitchen unites the kitchen and dining area to create a truly open kitchen, giving guests the opportunity to witness Gusto Italian’s skilled chefs first-hand, while the Pizza Experience, unique to Gusto Italian, provides two and a half hours of feasting and entertainment at the Chef’s Table.

Gusto Italian’s new visual identity was first unveiled with the opening of its flagship Nottingham restaurant in December 2021. Since then, as part of a self-funded £2m CAPEX programme, existing sites including Liverpool, Cookridge in Leeds, Alderley Edge and Edinburgh have undergone significant renovation, with Gusto also set to open a 10,000 square foot restaurant and bar on Oxford High Street on the 1st December.

Recent customer feedback data illustrates the Gusto Italian model is hugely popular with consumers. Scores have reached record levels, with the first-class experience reflected in an average Net Promoter Score in the high 80s, compared to an industry average of 55, and an average amongst the other leading casual dining operators in the high 60s.

Matt Snell, CEO of Gusto Italian, (pictured), commented, “It is a real honour to be recognised as the Best Italian Restaurant Under 50 Sites, and it’s testament to the incredible work done by our team over the last twelve months.

'We’ve worked tirelessly to perfect our offering and customer experience, and I’m delighted this was borne out in the judging process. This award win represents a significant milestone for the growth and success of Gusto Italian. I truly believe we are going from strength to strength and I cannot wait to see what the next twelve months holds.”