For the first time this year competitors can both register themselves or be nominated by a third party to be in with the chance of winning the Licensee of the Year title and a new prize of a European study tour trip.
The Licensee of the Year award is designed to recognise 'the most talented and tenacious licensees' who can demonstrate a high level of business acumen and commitment to staff development.
2015 winner Keith Marsden, joint licensee of The Prince of Wales in Birmingham, said: "This is the biggest accolade you can get, and receiving recognition from your peers to say that you are at the top of your game is a bonus. It’s great for customers and staff too; affirming staff that they’ve made the right decision in their place of employment, and confirming for customers that they’ve chosen a fantastic pub to drink in."
In another change to the competition this year, following the initial entry stage a shortlist of 50 publicans will be drawn up with each one receiving a visit from a mystery customer. A report from each visit will be used to decide the licensee's future in the competition, but will also be shared with entrants.
A shortlist of six licensees will then be chosen to be visited by judges for one-to-one interviews and attend a panel judging day in May before one winner is chosen.
Tim Hulme, BII CEO said: "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."
Nominations must be made by 8 January 2016. To enter and for more information visit www.bii.org/awards.