The search to find the 2018 BII Licensee of the Year is underway, seeking entries from people running bars and pubs.
Entries are now open online for the British Institute of Innkeeping’s annual award programme which recognises the top individual licensees operating in the industry today.
The competition is open to managers, lessees, tenants and free traders, and last year saw over 200 entrants from across the UK vying for the top spot.
It features a rigorous four-month judging process culminating in the announcement of the winner at the BII Summer Event on June 5, 2018. As well as the title of Licensee of the Year, the winner will receive a year’s free Sky Sports subscription for their venue.
Licensees can either nominate themselves or be nominated by colleagues, customers or suppliers by registering the entry at www.bii.org. Entrants must have been operating their business for at least two years, hold a Personal Licence and have a food hygiene rating of 4 or 5. Closing date for entries is February 28.
On being last year’s winner, Mark Higgs from The Castle Inn in Edgehill in Oxfordshire, said: “I was overwhelmed and a bit gobsmacked to be honest with you, but just absolutely chuffed to bits. It was much tougher than I expected, but to get this at the end of it is just amazing.”
Mike Clist, the BII’s CEO, added: “The BII Licensee of the Year Award has been going for over 30 years now and is the award to win if you are a licensee operating in today’s market.
“This competition searches for the gold standard in our industry – a licensee who excels in all aspects of running a licensed hospitality business – they really must be the full package.
“Many of our previous winners are well known and hugely successful figures in the sector today, and I can’t wait to meet the 2018 finalists – the field just gets stronger every year!”
David Rey, managing director of Sky Business, added: “We are proud to sponsor the BII Licensee of the Year for a second year. The standard of last year’s entries was second-to-none and I’m looking forward to seeing what the 2018 competition brings.
“The awards recognise those licensees for whom operational excellence is paramount and who think about every aspect of their business in order to make it a successful one.
“The dedication and professionalism of licensees is vital for the continued growth of the on-trade and we continue to work with the BII to support both its members and the industry.”