The awards rewarded tenants who had demonstrated either excellence in one area of their business, or achievement across the board. Overall sales growth, scores in the company’s Silent Customer mystery dining visits and TripAdvisor reports were also considered within the robust judging process, which involved independent judges in a number of categories.
This year’s Hospitality Award winners were:
• Best Newcomers: shared between two pubs: Gordon & Graeme Dickens at the Hollybush, Redbourn and Alex Venner, Steven Crosby & Clive Miners at the Red Lion, Cholsey, Oxfordshire
• Best Kept Cellar: Neil Rowlands, White Bear, Warlingham
• Best Business Builder: Daniel Wright, Joker, Brighton
• Best Garden: Sean & Vanessa Arnett, Blackwood Arms, Littleworth Common near Slough
• Best Sunday Roast: Samantha Murray & Richard Grant, Reformation, Gallowstree Common, near Henley
• Best All-Rounder: Simon Duffy, Perch & Pike, South Stoke, near Henley
Chief executive Tom Davies said, “Recognising and rewarding the tenants who have excelled over the past year is something we take seriously at Brakspear. Each nomination is given thorough consideration by our judges and this year, as ever, choosing the winner in each category was a challenge.
“Every year, judging the awards reminds us of the talented tenants we are lucky enough to have running pubs with us. Our winners should all be proud of their victory and we hope they all maximise it to boost their presence locally.”
At the Red Lion, one of the Best Newcomer Award winners, tenant Alex Venner said, “As three local residents without any previous experience of running a pub, we’ve had a sharp learning curve since taking on the Red Lion in November last year. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved and are enjoying serving great food and drink and offering entertainment to our friends and customers.”
The Hospitality Awards were held at the Crooked Billet, a Brakspear pub in Stoke Row near Henley and attended by 110 Brakspear tenants, head office employees and suppliers.