Hugely popular pub-restaurant operator rated 'top' in Sunday Times 100 list

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Oakman Inns rated top multi-site pub company in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2020 list and wins Casual Dining Awards’ Sustainable Pub Operator of the Year to boot

Oakman started out in Tring, Herts, with founding pub restaurant The Akeman.

It has grown exponentially and Oakman Inns now owns and operates 24 pubs across East of England, South-East England and the Midlands (see list at the bottom of this article).

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The year has started well for the popular pub group after it picked up two accolades in one night recently.

Oakman Inns CEO, Peter Borg-Neal (centre) receiving the award for Sustainable Operator of the Year 2020 at the Casual Dining Awards in LondonOakman Inns CEO, Peter Borg-Neal (centre) receiving the award for Sustainable Operator of the Year 2020 at the Casual Dining Awards in London
Oakman Inns CEO, Peter Borg-Neal (centre) receiving the award for Sustainable Operator of the Year 2020 at the Casual Dining Awards in London | other

At the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For List 2020 ceremony, the Best Companies three star rated company learnt they were ranked for a fifth year in the Top 30 and are this year’s highest rated multi-site pub company on the List.

Oakman Inns, which employs over 1,000 people who work across its 24, is a progressive, people-oriented company that truly believes in team engagement and has a strong desire to allow each team member to be the best they can be. At the heart of their development programme is 'Oakmanology', an award-winning learning and skills hub which was designed in-house by Oakman’s HR team, led by HR Director, Jill Scatchard. Oakmanology takes employees through both craft and leadership development, using a mix of online micro-learning opportunities including fact sheets, quizzes, eLearning, face to face training, videos and assessments.

Oakman Inns’ CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, said: “I get very emotional when I consider just how important a recognition this is of our relatively small company. We are amongst the Top 30 companies in the UK that people enjoy working for and it’s a huge honour and privilege to work with them all. They are the reasons that this company, which is only just over twelve years old, has grown and developed. We don’t stop trying, we don’t stop caring and we’ll never stop trying to please.”

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The awards continued to flow at the annual The Casual Dining Awards, where Oakman won the annual Sustainable Operator Award for their non-stop effort to become environmentally better in everything they do. The company was also Highly Recommended in The Best Pub or Bar Brand of the Year, a recognition of the results of an effective, well-trained, and highly motivated team and a desire to be the best can have on a business.

Peter added: “Winning the Sustainable Operator Award underlines a fundamental and core belief that we can only work and live together, if we all pull together. We recently started working with the charity, CleanConscience, in Maidenhead, which recycles and repurposes our leftover guest soaps and toiletries. The idea to help CleanConscience was entirely a staff initiative and shows that it only requires us to make a little extra effort, to have a potentially enormous impact – lowering landfill, creating employment and training, providing overseas aid and support. I would recommend all our industry colleagues who have the capability and practical multiples of bedrooms to investigate this.”

Peter Borg-Neal is also pleading with Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to reconsider her opinion of staff in the hospitality industry. “These are highly skilled people with a high degree of responsibility. If they didn’t shoulder that responsibility, there would be no need for a Food Standards Agency, or guidelines and instructions on Allergens management. There would be no MasterChef or Sommelier of The Year. There would be no incentive to work in the industry or to see it as an aspirational career path – all because Priti Patel has this rather strange view of the people who serve her whenever she goes out.”

Oakman Inns is shortlisted in two awards (Pub Employer of the Year & Best Managed Pub Group) at this year’s Publican Awards, the industry’s ‘Oscars’, which take place on 4th March.



White Hart, Ampthill


Beech House, Amersham

Beech House, Beaconsfield

Cherry Tree, Olney

Dog & Badger, Medmenham

The Akeman Inn, Kingswood

Betsey Wynne, Swanbourne

The Polecat Inn, Prestwood


King’s Arms, Berkhamsted

Banyers House, Royston

Beech House, St Albans

The Red Lion, Water End

The Akeman, Tring


The Navigation at Thrupp Wharf, Cosgrove


The Crown & Thistle, Abingdon

The Old Post Office, Wallingford

Blue Boar, Witney


The Globe, Warwick

The Four Alls, Welford-on-Avon

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