Publican Awards

Publican Awards winner's story - Cheshire Cat - Best Drinks Offer

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

"Nothing can describe the sheer joy," McLaughlin (far right) said of their award win
"Nothing can describe the sheer joy," McLaughlin (far right) said of their award win

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"Winning is a bug," according to Tim Bird. And he should know. Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars, the seven-strong operation he runs with his wife and business partner, Mary McLaughlin, triumphed in the Best Drinks Offer in the 2016 Publican Awards sponsored by Coca Cola Enterprises.

"That bug benefits a lot of people around you from the teams to all customers old and new," he says. "It makes you strive for greater things, it makes you fight harder to exceed customer expectations and reach new levels of food and srinks quality and service."

Since lifting the trophy, which toured each pub to give every team member a chance to bask in the glory of the win before settling proudly behind the bar of the Church Inn in Mobberley, Cheshire, the pub operator has worked even harder in the hope of emulating the success next year.

How to enter the awards

Download your entry forms online​. Alternatively contact Rachel Ward on 01293 610394 or Entries close on Friday 4 November.

Drawing praise from the judges for its specialised drinks focus - the Red Lion carries up to 80 varieties of rum, while the Bulls Head offers a similar level of choice in the line of whisky - the company has since opened two further venues with unique themes.

The Fitzherbert Arms on Lord Stafford's Estate in Swynnerton specialises in port with more than 30 by the bottle, while the Roebuck Inn, Mobberley has a 'unique nostalgic drinks list', providing table service for all beverages.

Winning "meant the world" to the teams at each pub, McLaughlin declares.

"Entering awards is always tough. We are all very busy and, unlike big companies, we don't have loads of people to fill in forms and gather evidence. But if you give yourself enough time there is nothing better than to win national recognition. The Publican Awards are like the industry Oscars... there is nothing that can describe the sheer joy and elation of getting on stage and accepting the award on behalf of your people and pubs. Truly great."

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