Hotelier Robin Hutson, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls and chef-restaurateur Alain Ducasse received the top gongs at the 2020 Cateys.
Due to lockdown restrictions in place in England, this year's event took place as a live virtual ceremony and was watched by operators up and down the country.
The full event can be watched below.
Hutson was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising his creation of two unique hotel brands in the Pig properties and Hotel du Vin, and the standalone Lime Wood hotel in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, which have set the benchmark for hotels in their competitive set.
Accepting his award, Hutson said: "I was not expecting this at all. A great surprise after a tricky year. I'm sure there are many as deserving as I am for this award, but perhaps still standing after 45 years in the business somehow qualifies me. The sad thing is I somehow imagine myself as one of the young guns of the industry. I guess having always loved what I do; I didn't notice those 45 years passing."
He added: "I'd like to take this moment to salute not just my own team but the whole industry in how they've tackled this year. Despite the hardships and the challenges that Covid has thrown us, never has hospitality been so recognised."
The 2020 Special Award went to Kate Nicholls, whose tenacious lobbying and support, and tireless work to explain the impact of coronavirus restrictions on the hospitality industry to national media and government, has ensured the sector's case has been heard and stayed top of the agenda.
She said: "This year has been one like no other, but I take heart from the fact that we've worked so collaboratively together: people have reached out to support each other to leave nobody behind. It has been inspirational to see how the industry has reached out to help the most vulnerable in society and to help in the national effort."
Addressing the industry, Nicholls added: "Thank you all for your inspirational leadership and support, and thank you for this award."
The winner of this year's International Outstanding Achievement Award went to one of the most remarkable chefs of his generation. Alain Ducasse is one of only two chefs ever to have held 21 Michelin stars, including his eponymous three-Michelin-starred restaurant at London's Dorchester hotel, and today he runs one of the most respected culinary empires in the world.
Other winners included Edinburgh chef-restaurateur Tom Kitchin, who walked away with the coveted Chef Award, while Tom Kerridge was named Restaurateur of the Year – Independent.
The Hilton London Bankside and the Queensberry hotel in Bath, Somerset, won Hotel of the Year Group and Independent respectively, while Amadeus' Kevin Watson won the Foodservice Caterer Award.
The full list of winners
Best Marketing Campaign Award – Sponsored by the Vegetarian Butcher: Seren Collection
Manager of the Year – Sponsored by Franke Coffee Systems: David Connell, South Lodge
Best Use of Technology Award – Sponsored by TWISPER Business: Edwardian Hotels London
Accessibility Award – Sponsored by Blue Badge Access Awards: Cottage in the Dales
Newcomer Award – Sponsored by Goya Communications: Cornerstone
Menu of the Year Award – Sponsored by Teflon: The French House
Sustainable Business Award – Sponsored by Coca-Cola European Partners: The Bay Fish & Chips
Pub and Bar Award – Sponsored by Britvic: Sally Abé, the Harwood Arms
Restaurateur of the Year – Independent – Sponsored by OpenTable: Tom Kerridge
Restaurateur of the Year – Group – Sponsored by Bidfood: Des Gunewardena and David Loewi, D&D London
Best Employer Award – Sponsored by Nescafé: Firmdale Hotels
Wine and Spirit Ambassador Award – Sponsored by Champagne Taittinger: Andrew McKenzie, the Vineyard Group
Health and Nutrition Award – Sponsored by Knorr Professional: Westminster Kingsway College
Public Sector Caterer Award – Sponsored by Bidfood: Mark Davies, ISS UK Food Services
Education and Training Award – Sponsored by Caterer.com: Gary Hunter, Westminster Kingsway College
Hotel of the Year – Group – Sponsored by Sky: Hilton London Bankside
Hotel of the Year – Independent – Sponsored by Sky: The Queensberry hotel
Foodservice Caterer Award – Sponsored by Diversey and Zenith Hygiene: Kevin Watson, Amadeus
Chef Award – Sponsored by Brakes: Tom Kitchin
International Outstanding Achievement Award – Sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions #FairKitchens: Alain Ducasse
Special Award — Sponsored by CH&Co: Kate Nicholls
Lifetime Achievement Award – Sponsored by Caterer.com: Robin Hutson