Casual dining pioneer Phillip Kaye made an Industry Icon
18 Januray, 2011
Phillip Kaye, who over five decades of business has helped create some Britain’s most successful and best-known restaurant brands, has won this year’s Peach Network “Industry Icon” award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the UK’s restaurant market.
Kaye’s involvement in high street chains ranges from Golden Egg in the 1960s, through the launches of Garfunkels and Deep Pan Pizza, to the contemporary offerings such as ASK and Zizzi, working with sons Sam and Adam, and Prezzo, supporting nephew Jonathan.
“The Icon trophy goes to individuals who have made a lasting and positive impression; people who inspire, innovate and set the standards. Phillip Kaye easily lives up to that billing as one of our market’s true greats,” said Peach Network’s founder Peter Martin. “He continues to add to his substantial legacy. He is a man who helped to lay the foundations of today’s informal dining market – and a whole restaurant dynasty.”
The presentation to Phillip Kaye, who will be 80 later this year, was made at the Peach Hero & Icon Awards lunch in London yesterday by Peach chairman and industry veteran Ian Neill, while industry leaders James Horler, ceo of 360 Restaurants, and Andrew Guy, boss of Ed’s Easy Diner, led the tributes.
James Horler added: ”He is quite simply an industry legend. A man who has done more for creating the casual dining industry than any other.
“It was back in the 1960s that Phillip and his brother Reggie started the whole thing rolling with the launch of The Golden Egg, as one of the first national high street brands, with what at the time was seen as having cutting-edge design.
“Then in the late 70s and 80s, came Garfunkels, Deep Pan Pizza, Chi Chis, now Chiquito’s and then in the 1990’s Cafe Uno – and with them came the creation of City Centre Restaurants, which has now, of course, evolved into The Restaurant Group.”
Andrew Guy, a former ceo at City Centre, added: “What has always underpinned Phillip’s success has been his great skill with property, and site selection. One of his great skills has been to spot an opportunity and go for it in a big way. To build successful businesses, and at the right time, to sell them.”
Horler added: “Phillip has always shown a wonderful ability to be a mentor. Many have been successful in this industry, but very few, if any, have the mentoring skills of Phillip Kaye. He worked with Adam & Sam on the creation of ASK then Zizzi’s, now household names under the Gondola umbrella. He then supported Jonathan in launching and driving forward yet another Italian-inspired brand in Prezzo.
“More recently he’s backed the Dim T dim sum chain and is now heavily involved in Richoux, the London coffee shop group. You may also have noticed a new small Italian chain called Villagio in Andover, Hammersmith, Barnet and Berkhampstead – that’s a Phillip Kaye investment too.
“He remains a very shrewd businessman – building and selling great businesses is obviously in the blood – and it seems there is still more to come.”
Nephew Jonathan Kaye concluded: “His incredible intuition for the needs of the consumer has meant that he has long been a leader in his industry, and it has been one of my greatest privileges to have him as a mentor.”
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