Shining light on the best in a changing industry

By The PMA Team

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Publican awards Public houses in the united kingdom

Paul Charity: 'Get your entries in'
Paul Charity: 'Get your entries in'
It has always been the way. At any given moment in any given market there are winners and losers. No matter how dire the market conditions are, somebody — invariably quite a few people — will be prospering.

Take the beer market, which has been on a steady downward trend in terms of on-trade sales for several decades. Yet one well-known major lager company reported surging sales and profits just a few weeks back thanks to smart positioning, great products and exceptional marketing.

A second beer (and cider) company, Jygsaw, running a number of brands popularly regarded as “dated”, has proven so successful, given focus and ideas, that its joint owner Heineken UK, has just exercised its option to buy the rest of the company back from its management.

Quality of thinking, and the energy with which it is applied, still makes a massive difference in any given walk of life. In our neck of the woods, it’s been noticeable how many businesses have shrugged off the doom-laden headlines on the economy to out-perform. In fact, one benchmarking survey of major managed pub companies has shown them beating retail companies in the wider economy.

It’s noticeable, too, how many of our MA250 members are taking advantage of lower freehold property prices and great deals on tied and non-tied leasehold properties to expand. And even in the distressed tenanted sector, it’s noticeable how much better you can do if smart thinking is applied to your estate.

This magazine took over the organisation of the Publican Awards when the two big weekly trade magazines were merged earlier this year — and re-launched them last week. We thought hard about how to evolve the awards — and believe we’ve come up with the right answers. Next year’s awards will re-focus on the primary job of this event — to recognise our best companies across the sector.

There are categories that recognise large and small managed and tenanted companies, outstanding pub brands, menu innovation, outstanding new sites and the best community pub operators (still a huge part of the sector and often overlooked). We’ve also got an award that seeks to recognise companies that have re-invented themselves after difficult times — the Best Turnaround category. And as training in the sector improves, we are introducing a category that recognises outstanding employers.

With this industry continuing to evolve, the Publican Awards seek to recognise the emerging areas of excellence. So, there’s a new award that aims to find the best new-start microbrewers who have expanded into running their own pub estates — there are
more than 200 micro-brewers now running pubs in a re-invention of the tradition of the family brewers.

And there’s one more great piece of innovation. We’ve introduced six awards that recognise our best suppliers (based on a vote of our readers) in the belief that licensees will be able to identify those that are making a real difference to life in the on-trade. We are open for entries now — let the excellent shine.

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