Two heads are better than one

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Like pie without gravy, one isn’t at its best without the other.

So it was only natural to the duo running Michelin-acclaimed Rafters Restaurant that they should jointly enter for the Sheffield Chamber’s Young Business Person of the Year award.

The judges agreed – and last night the delighted pair took the title – probably the first time in the history of the awards that two have become one worthy winner.

Chef Tom Lawson, aged 25, and front of house Alistair Myers, 30, met while working in the same establishments. They realised their compatibility and their shared dream of owning their own place, bought the much-respected, 20-year-old Oakbrook Road restaurant a year ago from award-winning chef Marcus Lane.

Their combined skills and expertise has earned brought the restaurant fresh acclaim – in the first eight months Tom won Young Chef of the Year at the Craft Guild of Chefs, the restaurant got into 2015’s editions of the Michelin Guide, the Good Food Guide and Hardens Restaurants Guide 2015 and won itself a two AA Rosette rating.

But they also credit two secret ingredients in the mix – the family members whose astute business acumen has guided them from the beginning of the dream.

Alistair’s uncle is a city accountant and Tom’s father Brian Lawson is management and leadership consultant.

“Their specialist knowledge enabled us to plan strategically and make the money we had work hard for us,” said Alistair. “That is a major asset to a fledgling business.

Rafters has now expanded its opening days and times and taken the staff from six to 16.