Hospitality & Tourism

Published: September 26, 2021 | Updated: September 27, 2021

‘Vote for us’ urge Chicken & Blues in David v Goliath contest for family restaurant crown

Stephen Crawford (left) and Joshua Simons, Co-Founders, Chicken & Blues.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

It’s a classic David and Goliath contest.

A plucky – and very popular – restaurant brand, born and bred in Bournemouth, taking on some of the biggest names in the business.

And you can play a vital role in affecting the final outcome.

Chicken & Blues (C&B) is the only locally-born restaurant brand through to the national finals of the Deliveroo UK Restaurant Awards 2021.

The business, co-founded by Joshua Simons and Stephen Crawford in 2013, is one of 20 nominees in the ‘Best Family Restaurant’ category.

C&B is up against stiff competition.

Its rivals for the crown include Bella Italia, Chiquito, Frankie & Benny’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Harvester, Las Iguanas, Prezzo, Toby Carvery and Zizzi.

Two years ago C&B won the title, against similarly well-known UK brands.

Joshua and Stephen are pictured with the trophy.

With your help they can do it again.

This stage of the contest is a public vote and C&B is asking for your support.

Voting closes at 23.59 on Monday, September 27.

To cast your vote, click here and select the Best Family Restaurant category.

Joshua, 39, said: “To be nominated was a surprise but also very exciting for our team.

“To win would be just amazing.

“We’ve done it before, we can do it again with everyone’s help.”

C&B has restaurants in Ashley Cross and Winton, pictured right.

It was one of the first to partner with Deliveroo six years ago and is now the food delivery company’s  highest grossing independent brand for its size in the south west.

Across the Bournemouth and Poole zones C&B accounts for 2,000 Deliveroo deliveries each week.

The brand has entered into a three year exclusive deal with Deliveroo, until 2024, and receives “fantastic support” according to Joshua.

He said: “We made the decision to embrace Deliveroo at a time when many others were suspicious and unsure.

“The partnership works really well to the benefit of both of us.”

C&B, which together with sister brand Flamingo in Winton is part of Aviary Hospitality Limited, now employs 70 staff across its two sites.

A further 30 work for Flamingo, the all-day dining concept which launched as a 100-cover café in May.

Flamingo is now doing 2,000 covers a week and there are plans to launch a second site around the Poole area next year.

C&B has a 40,000-strong database with 15,000 members using its app.

An email urging support for C&B’s nomination in the Deliveroo UK Restaurant Awards is due to be sent out today, September 24.

All names listed on the database will also receive a C&B gift next week in the form of a digital scratch card.

Joshua said: “Everyone will win a prize, ranging from milkshakes to £50 Chikcoin [C&B’s own currency] vouchers.

“The last 18 months have been intense for all of us.

“This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all our loyal customers.

“It’s also a show of appreciation for taking the time to vote for us.”

The Deliveroo Restaurant Awards 2021 take place online on Monday November 15.