Belfast hotelier Bill Wolsey has received an OBE for services to business and the hospitality industry in Northern Ireland.
He was presented with the award by the Prince of Wales Charles at Buckingham Palace on Friday, after being named in the Queen's 2014 Birthday Honours list.
Wolsey heads Beannchor, a company made up of a portfolio of 50 hotels, restaurants and pubs, headed by the five-AA-star Merchant hotel in Belfast. Employing more than 650 staff, the group also includes Little Wing Pizzeria, the Dirty Onion, Yard Bird, the National Grande Café and Sixty6.
Wolsey said he was delighted to share the honour of the award with his wife Petra and sons, Conall and Luke, all who are directors in the Beannchor group and have been "integral to the growth, development and success of the business".
"Together we are very proud of the role Beannchor has played in regenerating and energising the social fabric of Belfast city centre and indeed more rural locations across Northern Ireland, as well as creating hundreds of job."
After health problems thwarted his plans to become a professional footballer, Wolsey entered the hospitality industry, initially with the first Pizza Hut, before joining Holiday Inn and then Queens Moat House, where he achieved a senior managerial position.
He branched out on his own by opening his first pub in Bangor, Northern Ireland in the late 1970s, a move which proved to be the foundation of the Beannchor group.