Waitrose considering sale of Good Food Guide after ceasing publication

08 June 2021 by
Waitrose considering sale of Good Food Guide after ceasing publication

Waitrose is considering a potential sale of The Good Food Guide after announcing it would cease publication after more than 70 years.

The supermarket group, which bought the guide for an undisclosed sum from Which? in 2013, said last month that it planned to retain the brand but had "no plans" to publish future editions.

This prompted backlash from the hospitality industry, with The Observer restaurant critic Jay Rayner tweeting that Waitrose was "killing off something very special".

However, the company said today (8 June) it is exploring a "range of options" for the future of the guide.

Martin George, customer director at Waitrose, 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 founded in 1951 by journalist Raymond Postgate, who was so appalled at the state of food in Britain in the 1950s that he founded the Good Food Club, which he initially called the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Food.

Postgate recruited an army of volunteers to clandestinely visit restaurants and their reports were compiled to make the first edition of the guide, which sold 5,000 copies.

While the debut edition included 600 entries, the most recently published 2020 guide had 1,200.

The guide announced it would not publish its 2021 edition in September last year, saying the Covid-19 pandemic left it unable to "fairly or accurately" reflect the industry.

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