THE huge success of a new restaurant opened by four Hereford friends was celebrated with the Hotel, Restaurant, Pub or Café of the Year award.

The Beefy Boys restaurant at the Old Market Shopping Centre took first prize in this Hereford BID category, with Burger Shop Hereford and The Bookshop; and The Kup-cake Kitchen Cafe runners-up.

This award went to the hotel, restaurant, pub or café which had significantly increased its performance or potential in the latest financial year.

Lee Symonds, Anthony Murphy, Christian Williams and Daniel Mayo-Evans from The Beefy Boys were unable to attend on the awards night but Old Market Shopping Centre manager, Alan Anderson, picked up the award on behalf of the group.

Speaking after the ceremony, Anthony said: "We were shocked. It is brilliant to have it. We are really over the moon.

"It has been a lot of hard work over the last two years."

The restaurant, which sells quality, unique burgers, at the Old Market Shopping Centre opened just after Christmas in 2015.

Before this, they had been selling their burgers at pop-ups. Due to the huge popularity of the pop-ups they took the plunge and opened their own restaurant.

He added: "It has far exceeded our expectations. A lot of people told us not to do it at the time. We really wanted to do it.

"A lot of people told us not to go where we did as we wouldn't be able to compete with all those big chains. We have been lucky enough that we are the busiest one there.

"It has grown. We always had this joke that the whole of the Beefy Boys came from a drunken BBQ at home that really got out of hand.

"It has expanded way beyond our imagination."

They now have 50 members of staff working at the restaurant and are number one on TripAdvisor for Hereford restaurants.

They are looking to open a second restaurant over the next couple of years.

Anthony said: "There is nothing concrete. There are a few cities we are looking at and viewing different spaces.

"We are not in a rush to do it. We are so lucky in Hereford as we have such an amazing location.

"It is busy in the day with people doing their shopping and busy in the evening with the cinema and people going for drinks.

"It is such a good central location that we need something just as good. We are taking our time with that."

Next month there are travelling to New Orleans to take part in The World Burger Championships. In 2014 they took the title of second Best Burger in The World.

The HBID Board Member representing the Evening and Night Time Economy, Dan Guerche, presented the award on the night.