Waitrose & Partners might sell The Good Food Guide

The  Staff Canteen

Following the recent news that Waitrose & Partners would be ceasing publication of the The Good Food Guide  ending almost 70 years of curating the list of Britain's finest restaurants, the company has confirmed that it is exploring its options, which could include a sale.

In a statement, customer director Martin George, said:

“We know how well loved the guide is and would like to see its future secured and the strong brand live on.  We recognise how important The Good Food Guide is in reflecting the great work of restaurants across the length and breadth of the UK.

“It has always been our intention to explore options for The Good Food Guide, with selling being one of these.

"We are grateful for the efforts of all our Partners, inspectors and those who have contributed to the guide during the seven years since we acquired it.  We will continue to champion the industry through our publications, including Waitrose Food and Waitrose Weekend."

The Good Food Guide, which was purchased from consumer review firm Which? in 2013, was one of a handful to distribute accolades to the UK's finest establishments on an independent basis, shining a light on restaurants deserving of praise and helping to raise the standards of British Gastronomy. 

The news that it was ceasing publication prompted an outcry in the industry, as many saw it as one of the final bastions of independent awards for restaurants, providing very much-needed marketing in a time when the industry is on its knees. 

Waitrose & Partners announced that it wouldn't be publishing a 2021 edition last year, but sought to reassure readers that it would confirm a publication date for the next edition in the future.

First published in 1951 by Raymond Postgate, an author, journalist, editor and gourmet whose love for food was said to be outdone only by his contempt for poor catering standards across the UK. He founded the Good Food Club in 1949, and the first guide included approximately 600 entries. In 2020, it included more than 1,200.

Raymond wrote a column on the poor state of British gastronomy for 'Lilliput' magazine, in which he invited readers to send him reports on dining outlets throughout the UK, which he then collated and published.

The response was overwhelming, and Postgate's notional "Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Food", as he had called it, developed into the Good Food Guide. The guide was devoid of advertisements and relied on volunteers to visit and report on UK restaurants.

As well as democratising eating out, Postgate sought to demystify the world of wine, and his influence is said to have been massive in making Britain an enthusiastic wine-drinking nation.

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th June 2021

Waitrose & Partners might sell The Good Food Guide