The British Institute of Innkeeping’s annual search for its licensee of the year is now open to entries and nominations to identify the best people running the country’s bars and pubs.
It recognises licensees who demonstrate the highest levels of business acumen and commitment to their staff’s personal development as well as the progression of their own business.
Sponsored by BT Sport, the BII Licensee of the Year award offers the new top prize of a trip on a European study tour as well as other benefits including one year’s free subscription to BT Sport.
The format of the competition is changing this year. Competitors can now either register themselves or be nominated by a third party – this can be customers, colleagues, pub companies and breweries or even fellow operators.
In addition, another change this year will be at stage two of the entry process, when a mystery customer will visit about 50 shortlisted licensees. This report of their experience will be used by the BII to decide whether the licensee progresses further in the competition, and these reports will also be shared with entrants as a valuable tool for business building.
Independent audits of entrants’ social media and website activity will also be compiled and will count towards the overall scoring to decide the semi-finalists, who will be visited by a panel of judges for one-to-one interviews.
BII chief executive Tim Hulme said: “Our Licensee of the Year Award is renowned for identifying the industry’s very best publicans, and we are incredibly excited to kick off 2016’s search.
“We hope to see the changes to the competition process really encourage our entrants to evaluate their venue, and in particular open their eyes to the multiple platforms with which they need to engage with their clientele, making the most of the digital world which transcends the walls of their pub.
“We are keen to encourage licensees from all sectors and levels of experience so if you pride yourself as a top licensee or know someone who’s at the top of their game make sure you enter.
“If you’ve demonstrated innovation, targeted new market groups, or sought interesting alternative ways to generate revenue you could be in with a chance. Be proud of what you do and shout about it!
“We’re also thrilled that BT Sport is back on board as the headline sponsor this year. Viewing sport is very much a social occasion and there’s no better way to experience it than at your local. As part of the prize package, the Licensee of the Year will receive a one year free subscription to BT Sport in their pub as well as becoming a lifetime member of the BII and a future member of Club LOYA.”
The closing stage of the competition will see all six finalists attend a panel judging day in May 2016, where they attend an interview in London with a panel of industry specialists. To celebrate getting to the finals, these six licensees will receive their trophies and celebrate in style at the BII’s annual summer event on June 7.
For more information about the BII’s Licensee of the Year Awards, visit https://www.bii.org/awards.