CODE Hospitality has bought The Good Food Guide from Waitrose and Partners

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

Hospitality members' network CODE Hospitality has bought The Good Food Guide from Waitrose and Partners and will publish an edition of the guide in 2022, on the 70th year since it was first released.

In the meanwhile, it will launch a new website and newsletter for the guide today, on 29th October.

CODE founder Adam Hyman told iNews that the company has “major expansion plans” for the guide, but that its principles will remain the same, in that its inspectors will dine in restaurants anonymously and their bills will be paid in full by the company.

“I’m delighted we’ve had the opportunity to bring The Good Food Guide back to life, especially in its 70th year,” he said.

“Sitting down for a good meal is one of life’s great joys and I’m excited to carry on celebrating this.” 

Waitrose and Partners, who took ownership of the guide from consumer review firm Which? in 2013 announced that it would cease publication in June of this year, and at the time said it would explore the option of selling it in order to allow it to live on. 

In a statement at the time, Waitrose 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 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. 

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.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 29th October 2021

CODE Hospitality has bought The Good Food Guide from Waitrose and Partners