Top 100: the most powerful people in hospitality

19 April 2018 by
Top 100: the most powerful people in hospitality

Back for the first time since 2012, The Caterer reveals the Top 100 most powerful people in hospitality, how they got onto our list and what you can learn from them


It has been six years since The Caterer published its Top 100 list of the hospitality industry's most powerful movers and shakers. A lot has happened in that time.

With every single operator on this Top 100 power list focusing on the challenges that lay ahead as the country moves closer to Brexit, we celebrate the most influential individuals who are having the biggest impact upon the industry.

The list, sponsored by Knorr, features a diverse collection of personalities, from the bosses of the biggest corporate giants to those pushing the boundaries of style, concept or cuisine in their chosen field. It includes hoteliers, restaurateurs, contract caterers, pub and bar operators and chefs.

While the political landscape may have shown uncertainty since 2012, there is no denying that the occupier of the number one spot in the Top 100 has remained rock solid at the top of British hospitality. As well as heading the largest independent catering business in the UK - WSH - Alastair Storey has overseen the expansion of the business into the public dining arena and played an inspirational role in raising the profile of front of house staff through the Gold Service Scholarship.

1-alaster-storey-2012 019
1-alaster-storey-2012 019

The list has seen a dramatic rise in fortune for some, with Nick Jones, founder of Soho House & Co, shooting straight into the number four spot as a new entry. Jones is regarded as one of the most inspirational operators across the industry, and the launch last year of the Ned in the City of London as one of the most ground-breaking new hotels no doubt resulted in him being scored highly by the judges.

It is interesting to note that the two highest hoteliers on the list - Nick Jones and Robin Hutson - are lauded for their creative skills, while corporate hoteliers have not fared so well. This may well be because the sector has seen such luminaries as Patrick Dempsey at Whitbread and Richard Solomons of InterContinental Hotels Group step down from their roles. The split of ownership and operators has also had an impact.

Meanwhile, Tom Kerridge takes the prize for being our highest climber from the 2012 list, up an impressive 65 places - no doubt fuelled by the fact that he has established himself beyond the industry, thanks to his engaging television persona alongside building a solid collection of pubs in Marlow. He is now also on the verge of opening his biggest restaurant to date in London.


Leaders of the pub sector have performed well, with the likes of Tim Martin of JD Wetherspoon in second place and Rooney Anand of Green King in fifth, highlighting the extensive portfolio of properties over which they preside. Pubs are performing well at the moment, particularly when compared to the casual dining sector, which has been the major casualty of the perfect storm of rising rents, staffing costs and a declining pound.

Jamie Oliver has been one of the major players to take a hit, down from his 2012 position of number two to 11 this year. While the Compulsory Voluntary Arrangement of Jamie's Italian along with the closure of 12 sites has impacted his standing, his influence within the political arena, together with his media personality, has ensured his continued high placing.

Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver

r the next 13 pages and for the next five weeks, find out how everyone in the top 100 placed and what you can learn from them.

The Caterer's Top 100 most powerful people in hospitality

How we compiled the list

The Caterer Top 100 highlights the 100 most influential people whose achievements are having the biggest impact upon the hospitality industry in 2018. It tells you where they've been, where they are now and where they are going.

The individuals on the list are divided between hoteliers, restaurateurs, foodservice operators, pub and bar operators and chefs.

Nominees in each of these five categories were judged by a panel of industry experts and The Caterer's editorial team. To qualify, the power and influence of candidates had to be primarily located in the UK market.

Shortlisted candidates were awarded marks for each of five criteria, which were then averaged out to give an overall ranking.

The judging criteria

1 Consideration was given to the scale and scope of the operation headed by the operators

2 The power and influence exerted by the individuals on the wider industry and the respect they command among their peers. We asked whether they were shapers of policy, leaders in their field, and nurturing the next generation

3 A proven record of financial success in the business over a period of time

4 Innovation and inspiration: To what degree do they and the business they run set standards that others want to copy?

5 Longevity: How does the individual and their work stand the test of time?

From our sponsor

Knorr and Unilever Food Solutions are proud to support The Caterer's Top 100 most powerful people in hospitality - - especially in a year which marks The Caterer's 140th and Knorr's 180th anniversary. The foodservice industry is a significant and important part of Knorr's business and we're proud to have been by the side of culinary professionals since 1838.

Helping to encourage and grow chef talent has always been an important part of what we do, from a young chef's first day at college through to their first day on their first job - and for many years beyond. We continue to be hugely passionate about ensuring chefs are equipped with the support they need, from recipe inspiration to advice in managing allergens - all backed by insight-driven product solutions which are fit for purpose across every sector and at every level.

Remember your first day? Watch our campaign film at and join in the conversation on our Facebook page.

Sarah Branagan, marketing director, Unilever Food Solutions

The full list:

  1. Alastair Storey
  2. Tim Martin
  3. Gordon Ramsay
  4. Nick Jones
  5. Rooney Anand
  6. Jason Atherton
  7. Richard Caring
  8. Chris Corbin and Jeremy King
  9. Heston Blumenthal
  10. Bill Toner
  11. Jamie Oliver
  12. Robin Hutson
  13. Phil Urban
  14. Luke Johnson
  15. Raymond Blanc
  16. Jonathan Neame
  17. Andy McCue
  18. Tom Kerridge
  19. David Loewi and Des Gunewardena
  20. Ralph Findlay
  21. Simon Townsend
  22. Steve Richards
  23. Robin Sheppard
  24. Michel Roux Jr
  25. Simon Longbottom
  26. David Taylor
  27. Fred Sirieix
  28. Paul Pomroy
  29. Robby Enthoven
  30. Jeremy Roberts
  31. Noel Mahony and John Bennett
  32. David Forde
  33. Alex Reilley
  34. Alan Yau
  35. Tim and Kit Kemp
  36. Marcus Wareing
  37. Tim Jones
  38. Simon Emeny
  39. Dominic Blakemore
  40. Patrick Dardis
  41. Karen Forrester
  42. Rick Stein
  43. Simon Rogan
  44. Andrew Stembridge
  45. Nathan Outlaw
  46. Andrew Wilson and Carolyne Vale
  47. Jinlong Wang
  48. Alison Brittain
  49. Hamish Stoddart and Lee Cash
  50. Thomas Dubaere
  51. John Vincent and Henry Dimbleby
  52. Jyotin, Karam and Sunaina Sethi
  53. Mark Selby and Thomasina Miers
  54. Robin Rowland
  55. Mark Crowther
  56. Allister Richards
  57. Russell Norman and Richard Beatty
  58. Claude Bosi
  59. Sat Bains
  60. Jonathan Raggett
  61. Peter Gowers
  62. Chris and Jeff Galvin
  63. Simon Vincent
  64. Chris Garside
  65. Danny Pecorelli
  66. Wendy Bartlett
  67. Sir Rocco Forte
  68. Sharan Pasricha
  69. Sam, Eddie and James Hart
  70. Jens Hofma
  71. Angela Hartnett
  72. Brett Graham
  73. Clare Smyth
  74. Tony Troy
  75. Daniel Clifford
  76. Jon Hendry-Pickup
  77. Steve Holmes
  78. Michael Caines
  79. Jane Holbrook
  80. James Horler
  81. Phil Howard
  82. Andrew Fairlie
  83. Ken McCulloch
  84. Ranjit Singh Boparan
  85. Kris Gumbrell and Simon Bunn
  86. Jillian Maclean
  87. Guus Bakker
  88. James Watt and Martin Dickie
  89. Catherine Roe
  90. Richard Corrigan
  91. Tom Kitchin
  92. Hugh Osmond
  93. Mark Derry
  94. Mike Sunley
  95. Stephen and Juliette Wall
  96. Kavi and Shamil Thakrar
  97. Keith Barr
  98. Chris Mitchell
  99. Chris Bray
  100. Gary Usher

Continue reading

You need to be a premium member to view this. Subscribe from just 99p per week.

Already subscribed?

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking