SquareMeal was founded in 1990 by university friends Mark de Wesselow and Simon White, who were working in the City and saw a gap in the market for a restaurant and bar guide dedicated to the Square Mile. The SquareMeal brand quickly grew to cover the whole of London and today its coverage extends to 13,500 restaurants, pubs and bars around the UK.
Mark and Simon’s mission was to offer a curated guide to better-quality places, combining expert advice with customer opinion. It was clearly popular as print subscriptions from London executives quickly grew to over 100,000. The boom in restaurants followed in the late 90s, and with it, a quarterly SquareMeal magazine. The rise of the internet was marked by SquareMeal becoming the first UK restaurant guide to have a fully functioning website.
Because the same people that book ‘tables for two’ also use restaurants for private dinners, group dining, and full take-overs – not to mention a wider selection of venues for receptions, dinners and meetings – SquareMeal’s mission widened as it sought to solve the problem of ‘Where to eat, meet or hold an event’. This driving purpose led to market-leading magazines devoted to event organisers (including Weddings, Christmas, Summer Parties and Beyond) and an exhibition called SquareMeal Venues + Events Live, which was sold to Ocean Media in 2018. Today the focus is on channelling all its content and industry knowledge through its digital platforms including lively social media sites, with support events and a paired-back portfolio of the most popular magazines.
In 2018, the talented SquareMeal team was bolstered by a new CEO, Dean Yardley, who founded market-leading wedding planning website Hitched.co.uk, and Product and Marketing Director, Simon Dawson. The next stage of SquareMeal’s evolution will be underpinned by innovation and technical development, with an acceleration of online offerings, enhancing the experience for the diner, the event organiser and its customers.
SquareMeal's offices are based in Vauxhall, London. The team is an energetic bunch of restaurant, bar and venue obsessives – aided by the office sausage dog. Find out more about our team below...