BII 2013 Licensee of the Year: Finalists revealed

pub & bar

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bii licensee, Public house

The 2013 BII Licensee of the Year will be revealed at the BII Annual Lunch, which takes place at Grosvenor House Hotel next month
The 2013 BII Licensee of the Year will be revealed at the BII Annual Lunch, which takes place at Grosvenor House Hotel next month
The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has whittled down the competition for its prestigious 2013 Licensee of the Year Award, with a rigorous examination process identifying six top publicans from across the UK as the final candidates.

Following last year’s Licensee of the Year competition – in which Mahdis Neghabian of The Camden Eye pub in London was unveiled as the winner​– the BII’s chief executive Tim Hulme said the standards this year are higher than ever.

“We have been delighted by the standard of entries this year which indicates there are many pubs out there with extraordinary standards, an amazing commitment to customers and a passion to deliver outstanding service,” said Hulme.

“It’s a big achievement for our finalists to have reached this stage, and it is exciting to be so close to finding the very best in our industry.”

The 2013 Licensee of the Year finalists are: -

  • Dennis Forsyth from Cheers Café Bar and Tavern in Fraserburgh, Aberdeedshire
  • Steve Herbert from the The Old Spot Inn in Dursley, Gloucestershire
  • Cheryl Hickman of The Bull Inn at Barton Mills, Suffolk
  • Marc Jones from The Sportsman in Lower Kingswood, Surrey
  • Ashley and Kelly McCarthy from Ye Old Sun Inn at Colton, York
  • Annie Power from The Coal Hole in London.

Hulme added: “Each of our six finalists showed strong business acumen, a clear ability to succeed at the highest level and a commitment to staff development and training. They are highly deserving of their place in the final.”

Seal of approval

Mahdis_Neghabian
Current Licensee of the Year Mahdis Neghabian has seen her career propel to the next level

Last year’s winner Neghabian – who recently launched a pizza restaurant featuring a wood-fired oven​at her award-winning Camden pub – is a strong advocate of the award, claiming she ‘would definitely advise other licensees to apply’.

“The benefits have been amazing and I think they will be lasting,” she said.

The 2013 BII Licensee of the Year finalists will now face a nine-strong panel of judges - including industry veterans John Vereker and John Sharratt, and BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds – before the Licensee of the Year is unveiled during the 25th BII annual lunch at Grosvenor House on May 14th.

BII is a registered charity and the professional body for the licensed retail sector and has around 11,000 members, and 54 corporate patrons, members and supporters. For more information on the Licensee of the Year competition, click here.

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