Pub operator Greene King is the most admired company in the hospitality industry after rocketing up the rankings this year.
The pub chain, which has expanded rapidly in the last year, moved from 113th to 11th position in Britain's Most Admired Companies 2004 rankings.
The only other hospitality or catering company to make the top 20 was Compass, which dropped from 14th to 20th place, although JD Wetherspoon came close in 21st position.
The table is based on research conducted by Nottingham Business School for Management Today magazine, and includes input from analysts at leading investment companies.
The judges rank the 10 largest companies across 22 industries on nine areas, which include the quality of management, marketing, and goods and services. They also look at financial soundness, investment value, innovation, and success in attracting and developing talent.
The use of corporate assets and community and environmental responsibility are also considered. No leisure or entertainment company made any of the top 10 tables for the special category awards based on these criteria.
Only one restaurant group appeared in the top 10 table for the pub and restaurant sector - The Restaurant Group, formerly City Centre Restaurants.
Cruise ship operator Carnival topped the listings for leisure and hotel companies, which included new entrant Center Parcs.
Pubs and restaurant sector top 10
1 Greene King (11)
2 JD Wetherspoon (21)
3 Enterprise Inns (59)
4 Mitchells & Butlers (65)
5 Wolverhampton & Dudley (74)
6 Punch Taverns (89)
7 The Restaurant Group (105)
8 Hardys & Hansons (136)
9 Luminar (162)
10 Regent Inns (215)
Leisure and hotels sector top
1 Carnival (27)
2 Whitbread (54)
3 De Vere Group (63)
5 Hilton Group (91)
6 InterContinental Hotels (99)
7 Center Parcs (130)
9 Millennium & Copthorne (189)
- Figures in brackets show overall placing in the pan-industry top 220. Missing companies were not pertinent to hospitality
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 9 December 2004