Three Manchester restaurants made it into a diners’ poll of the top 50 UK eateries for ‘best service’ – yet none made the top five slot.
While Gordon Ramsay’s London restaurant snatched the top spot, Annies, Aumbry and 63 Degrees were the only Greater Manchester restaurants to make the list.
The 2013 Diner’s Choice award for the Top 50 Best Restaurants for Service in the UK was scored by 350,000 consumers on review site toptable.co.uk and claims to celebrate ‘outstanding hospitality in the restaurant industry’.
Meanwhile, The Fat Duck in Bray and Carters in Birmingham pinched the other top three places.
Manchester-based restaurant Annies, which opened in December 2012 and promises to be a ‘home from home’, is a family business ran by Coronation Street star Jennie McAlpine and her father Tom.
Tom McAlpine said: “We are absolutely delighted to have come in the top 50 in the country as we are a relavtively new restaurant and all the staff here have worked really hard to provide the best service we can.
“The challenge now is to make sure we maintain this high standard!”
And Tom doesn’t need to hide Annies’ secret recipe for service success.
“The whole thing with Annies when we started was we wanted to create somewhere people could feel they are meeting friends and not just going for a meal,” Tom explained.
“It is all about the personal touch, making people feel comfortable and ensure everyone feels as at home as possible – I suppose that’s a secret ingredient.
“I am always amazed at how many cards we get from people saying how much they enjoyed this or that while they were here. These are people who have taken the time to write a card to us and say ‘thank you for making our family feel so welcome’ – it’s really quite touching that these people want to let us know how much at home we made them feel.”
Mary-Ellen McTague is the co-owner and Head Chef of Aumbry, who also featured in the top 50 list.
She said: “Aumbry is absolutely delighted to be named in toptable’s top 50.
“We’re really honoured that we’re ranked alongside such highly acclaimed names in the UK – especially as we have been voted for by the diner which is the ultimate accolade for the restaurant.“
London gobbles up no less than 20 of the top 50 restaurants on the list, including three in the top five – Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, HKK and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester.
Lucy Taylor is Head of Restaurant Relations at toptable.co.uk. She said: “The most memorable part of a meal may not be just what’s on your plate, but also, the exceptional staff member who goes the extra step to ensure an enjoyable dining experience.
“From owners and executive chefs to servers and line cooks, the dedicated professionals at these restaurants are creating carefully orchestrated, personalised dining experiences that appear effortless yet make guests feel appreciated and indulged all at once.”
Compilers toptable.co.uk boast 2.5million reviews and provide online bookings for more than 4,000 restaurants. It is owned by the international company Open Table, who claim to seat more than 12million diners a month worldwide.