The Boss: Roger Whiteside, CEO
Sales: £1.03bn (FY 2018)
Rank last year: 66
Score: 8.44 (out of 10)
Britain’s Brexit-weary business community is at least united in one thing – admiration for the remarkable turnaround achieved at Greggs by Roger Whiteside and his team. The purveyor of sausage rolls, steak bakes and cheese- and-onion pasties not only jumps 66 places from 2018 to win the coveted overall award this year, but also takes the criteria awards for Quality of Management, Use of Corporate Assets and Inspirational Leadership.
The once-struggling north-east based baker has refocused on the food-to-go market, extended its opening hours and embraced new dietary trends, including gluten-free and vegan options. Sales at its 1,953 stores topped £1bn last year for the first time, and its savvy social media strategy has provided a masterclass in how to capture customers’ hearts, minds and money without the expense of traditional advertising campaigns.