Greene King has celebrated the hidden talents of its pub and brewery teams as part of a three-months-long project to keep people who were furloughed engaged and ready to reopen pubs across the UK from 17 May.
In a virtual event on 5 May that was a culmination of months of planning and preparation, hundreds of talented Greene King entrants from across the country were whittled down to three category winners, with Megan Chambers and Nicola Myers from The Roebuck pub in Richmond crowned the overall winners in a live vote on the night and taking away the ultimate £5,000 prize.
Almost 2,000 people were tuned in on the night for the event presented by TV and radio presenter Rezzy Ghadjar and Greene King CEO Nick Mackenzie.
Nick said afterwards: “This was an amazing night and I am just blown away by the length and breadth of talent that people in hospitality can demonstrate – not to mention their pets! From a juggling cocktail maker to a dog cleaning up the pub, the night had it all and more.
“Huge congratulations to our overall winners Megan and Nicola, but also to everyone who took part and made this such a special event.
“With pubs closed for the majority of the past year there has been little to celebrate and we have worked hard to keep people’s spirits up even when things have been at their bleakest.
“This was an amazing way to end what we hope is our final lockdown as we aim to get hundreds more pubs across the UK back open from 17 May.”
With 99% of Greene King’s 40,000 workforce furloughed either part-time or full-time during the lockdowns, the team were on the lookout for ways to keep people engaged and excited ahead of pubs reopening.
Planning for the talent contest began almost as soon as the Pride of the Greene King awards finished in January, which recognised those pubs and individuals who had gone above and beyond to support their communities throughout Covid-19.
With the talent show having three categories of pets, variety and music for people to enter, 300 entries were viewed by the judging panels, made up of Greene King’s executive board.
A shortlist of finalists was then put to a vote via the Greene King employee app Kingdom in the lead-up to the awards, with the winner of each category winning a £1,000 prize.
The three winners of each category were then announced on the night and then went head-to-head in a live vote with those watching able to vote for their favourite act.
Before they were voted overall winners, Megan and Nicola had won the music category thanks to their duet performance covering the song Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy which saw them garner 38% of the vote in a very close final.
Runner-up was pets category winner Rani Rodrigues and her talented dog Barney the cocker spaniel from the Spyglass & Kettle in Bournemouth with 32% of the vote and third with 30% of the vote was Lloyd Scarsbrook from Greene King’s Sunrise House support office, who won the variety category with his poem ‘Unleashed’ about the reopening of pubs.
The event also raised funds on the night for Greene King’s charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support, with viewers able to donate by text.