AN ITALIAN restaurant with some of the best servers in the country is pushing for success in the upcoming Reading Retail Awards.

Strada is in the running for the Restaurant of the Year and Service with a Smile awards after receiving widespread praise from delighted diners.

Manager Guto Bortolassi, who has worked for Strada over the last nine years, has seen The Riverside eatery grow into one of the town's popular eat-outs.

He said: "Reading has been very kind to us. Competition in this area of the town does add pressure, but we know about competing with others.

"If we make the service enjoyable people will come back. It means a lot to us. In terms of service quality we are at the top of our field.

Strada has been a fixture of Reading since September 2005, offering a refreshing take on the number of Italian dining options in the town centre.

Diaz Miah, head waiter at Strada, has been nominated in the Service with a Smile category after climbing to the top of the chain's nationwide leaderboard of servers.

His manager added: "Four of my staff are among the top waiters in the country in the 36 Strada restaurants and Diaz is currently the number one server in the country.

"It does mean a lot to have people recognising our hard work. The customer has decided from Tripadvisor which server is mentioned the most and he is on top.

"He has been working on and off for us for four years, but he is such an asset to our team and we all know how much he would deserve to win this award.

With a number of competitors close by at The Oracle, Strada has evolved it's service into an affordable and accommodating family restaurant.

A number of popular dishes, including £5 pizza of Monday, continue to leave diners satisfied, with an all-new menu launched on May 3.

Entry forms for the Reading Retail Awards are available at Broad Street Mall and The Oracle. Nominations close on Monday, July 10.

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