The finalists have been announced for the annual Licensee of the Year awards run by the BII, the trade’s professional body.
The shortlist features people running pubs in Manchester, Halifax, Cornwall, Surrey and London, drawn from the free trade, managed and tenanted sectors.
Chosen out of hundreds of entrants, they are:
- Gerry and Ann Price from the Inn West End in West End, between Camberley and Woking, Surrey
- Andrew Fishwick from the Truscott Arms in Maida Vale, London
- Rob and Lucy Brewer at the Rashleigh Arms in St Austell, Cornwall
- Glen Duckett at the Eagle & Child in Ramsbottom in Greater Manchester
- Mel Carus at The Metropolitan (pictured) in West Didsbury, south Manchester
- Glen Pearson at the Shibden Mill, Halifax.
They now face a panel judging day in May where they will be quizzed by industry experts in four areas: marketing, industry affairs, finance, and people and training.
All finalists will be presented with trophies at the BII Summer Event on June 7 when the overall winner of Licensee of the Year 2016 will be announced. It is sponsored by BT Sport.
This year, the format of the competition changed with those in the industry encouraged to not only register themselves but also nominate others. This saw nominations from customers, colleagues, pub companies, breweries and fellow operators.
After their initial written submission, these finalists have already been through checks on food hygiene ratings, social media audits, mystery customer visits and also welcomed the judging panel to their premises for a full site visit and in-depth interviews.
Sue Allen, commercial and membership director of the BII, said: “This group should be extremely proud of themselves for reaching this stage of such a demanding process. The Licensee of the Year Awards are renowned for being extremely challenging but we do feel that this heightens the level of achievement for those who have reached the final stage. I wish every one of them the best on finals judging day.”
John Sharratt, chair of the judging panel, added: “Over the 13 years of my involvement with this award it continues to be a privilege to have the opportunity to meet and talk with professional, passionate, successful and inspirational licensees.
“This year has been particularly challenging to judge not just because of the large number of entries originally received but also the quality witnessed during our visits by those successfully competing to operate in an ever-demanding business environment.”