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Business & Economy

North East restaurant and bar operators among North’s best

More than 1,000 sites, 21 brands and over 21,800 employees are covered by the NRB Top 50. It recognises the 50 most powerful companies in the north of England region, as well as the key individuals in those businesses.

Terry Laybourne and his 21 Hospitality Group of restaurants – comprising 21, Café 21 at Fenwick, Saltwater Fish Co, Ko Sai, Caffe Vivo and The Broad Chare pub – feature in this prestigious list.

In the North East, he was joined by Harry and Ollie Vaulkhard of the Vaulkhard Group and Duncan Fisher, owner of the Apartment Group.

Terry Laybourne said: “It’s always satisfying to be recognised by peers for the hard work you do. But as anyone working in the hospitality industry knows, any success is down to a team effort, the strength of your people.

“21 Hospitality Group has a strong and extensive team who consistently deliver. Our front of house and kitchen staff might be the most visible and win the most plaudits but everyone plays a valuable part in our overall success, from the cleaners, our admin people to the great network of regional suppliers.”

The invitation-only NRB Top 50 Awards reception took place at Northern Reception and Bar at Manchester Central, Manchester (March 21), the largest hospitality exhibition outside London.

Thom Hetherington, CEO of the NRB organiser Holden Media, said: “This year’s list has shown steady churn with an influx of new entrants particularly from Yorkshire and the North East. Research by CGA Peach demonstrates that the region’s ambitious, independent operators are thriving despite increased competition, and it is the people who make up the NRB Top 50 who are driving this dynamic.

“I think that in terms of volume, variety and sheer quality Northern food and drink lovers have never had it so good.”

For more information about 21 Hospitality Group visit