GBPA: 2016 winners say 'trade increased' after scooping prize

By MA Editorial

- Last updated on GMT

Increased trade: 2016 GBPA winners Paul Thompson and Peter Evans
Increased trade: 2016 GBPA winners Paul Thompson and Peter Evans

Related tags Great british pub Newcastle upon tyne Newcastle

The Great British Pub Awards are not just a feather in the cap of the winning pub, they are also a sure fire way to raise your site's profile and boost trade.

There are many reasons to enter the Great British Pub Awards, and winning is just one of them! In the third part of our look back at award winners from last year’s Great British Pub of the Year, we highlight more of the success stories from 2016.

Entries are still open for the 2017 contest and there are 17 categories to go for including Best Pub Garden, a new award for this year. The deadline for entries is 19 May and there will be no deadline extension, so don't miss out.

Ed Bedington, editor of The Morning Advertiser​, which organises the awards, said: “This is a great opportunity for all pub operators and I would urge all of you to enter the competition. As you can see from our write-ups of last year’s winners, it’s a great chance to develop and grow your business in a range of ways.

“The entry deadline is fast approaching, so if you haven’t entered already, I’d encourage all of you to get cracking now.”

Best Partnership Pub: The Hastings, Newcastle

On the outskirts of Newcastle, Peter Evans and Paul Thompson run The Hastings a Star Pubs & Bars leasehold site. Since the duo took over the pub it has undergone a transformation that has put it back at the heart of the Seaton Delaval community. Its success is due to the strong partnership between the tenants and their pubco. This union has secured the pub’s rebirth from a down-at-heel site into one that draws people from far beyond its immediate locality to sample its food and drink.

Star provided capital investment for major refurbishment work, support for a renewed food offer, including a unique ‘Geordie Tappaz’ menu, and training for the staff before the pub reopened.

Evans said: “When we won our GBPA we posted the news on Facebook and we had a lot of responses. We were in the local press as well.

“The award has meant that more people are coming in out of curiosity.

“To mark our win we brought out a celebration menu, which offered some of our most popular dishes on a two for £12 deal until December. This changed our lunchtime trade, so we’ve kept it going.”

Evans says that the pub’s turnover has increased since they picked up the GBPA gong. Compared to 2016, turnover in 2017 was up 20% in January, 33% in February, 20% in March and it’s forecast to be up 30% for April.

“A lot of this increase is down to the additional lunchtime trade and we have also seen a higher drinks trade on the back of the GBPAs. There’s almost a pre-award trade and a post award trade,” he says. 

The pub appears to have a penchant for winning as The Hastings also recently won a Star Pubs & Bars Award for its social media use.

Operators can enter online here and the deadline for the first round of judging is 19 May.

Best Live Entertainment Pub: Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

Last year’s Great British Pub Awards’ Best Live Entertainment Pub award went to the Hare & Hounds, a thriving entertainment venue that is hugely respected locally and further afield for live music featuring jazz, soul, indie artists, and DJ club nights.

Situated in the south Birmingham suburb of Kings Heath, the Hare & Hounds has been around since 1820, but has stood in its present form since 1907.

And, despite playing host to local Birmingham legends UB4O’s first ever gig in 1979, it is only in the past seven years that it says it has really established itself as one of the “most important and influential music venues in the country”, playing a vital part in nurturing the city’s vibrant music and creative scene.

It is easy to see why the pub took the award, as it attracts bands from all over Europe. This has resulted in the venue investing in sound desks, lights, new monitors, amps and DJ equipment.

Former DJ, record label owner and events promoter, Adam Regan, has owned the Greene King lease for 10 years.

He says the success of the venue is driven by a full-time marketer, who maintains the website and oversees the social media, along with two experienced people who work on the programming, sound and production.

Best Managed Pub: The Botanist, Newcastle


The operator behind Newcastle’s Botanist site – New World Trading Company (NWTC) – is no stranger to awards success.

As well as taking home Best Managed Pub for the site in central Newcastle’s Monument Mall at 2016’s Great British Pub Awards, the operator recently took home an unprecedented six awards at the 2017 Publican Awards. However, the site in Newcastle is a particularly special one for the managed pub company.

“It’s been a flagship site for us because it is our largest Botanist site and is a real institution in Newcastle,” NWTC chief Chris Hill says. “We have had a very settled management team there from the start with Andy Shiel-Redfern, who has been there since day one so it’s become a centre of excellence for us.”

Regardless of NWTC having confidence in the Botanist site in Newcastle, Hill says that taking home the Best Managed Pub gong at the 2016 Great British Pub Awards took both customer and staff morale at the site to a new level.

“Everyone in Newcastle knows how good it is, but it’s been really good to tell our staff and customers that it’s been nationally recognised. That will give a real swell of pride for customers that hopefully feel just as much pride in the site as we do.

“We noticed a real excitement around the awards success and there has certainly been an upturn in online conversation and morale at the site,” he adds.

Yet NWTC has not been resting on its laurels since its success in October’s awards, Hill says that the company has been innovating both in Newcastle and across its estate with the hope of more victories at the 2017 Great British Pub Awards.

Visit the GBPA website​ to enter.

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