Waitrose & Partners might sell The Good Food Guide

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

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.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 8th June 2021

Waitrose & Partners might sell The Good Food Guide