SATISFYING sandwiches and tasty lunches have earned one of the town's favourite eateries a spot on the shortlist for this year's Reading Retail Awards.

Dina Patel, who is in charge of five Reading Subway branches, is up for manager of the year, while the popular sandwich shop sits in a 27-strong shortlist for the Cafe's, Coffee and Lunches category.

Subway were responsible for the Promotional Initiative of the Year in 2016 after sponsoring Woodley Wanderers Football Club and allowing them to buy their kit last season.

Dina will celebrate two decades with Subway this year after serving a 'pioneering' role in bringing the U.S initiative across the pond.

She said: "It was very difficult in the early days. People did not know what Subway was and trying to get people to sit down and eat their food was a new idea.

"There have been a lot of challenges along the way and we have gone through two recessions, but we are still going strong.

"We have really pushed hard to get customers involved with the awards this year. We want to be recognised as the best place to go for your lunch in Reading.

As well as overseeing all of the Reading branches, Dina is also heavily involved with charity work and has raised £40,000 for Heart Research UK over the last four years.

"Helping out the community is something very personal to me," she added.

"Subway is an established company now, but it is not good enough to be complacent.

"The Reading Retail Awards are fantastic. For the business owners it does not mean too much, but for the employees it means the world.

"If Subway were to win an award this year, it would be because of what they have achieved, not just me."

Tickets are now on sale for the Reading Retail Awards 2017, which will this year be hosted by Sangeeta Bhabra from ITV and former Reading FC legend Ady Williams.

All finalists will receive two free tickets, while additional tickets can be purchased at £75 at www.readingretailawards.co.uk/