The highly coveted competition has meant that, during the past three weeks, a range of judges have visited the pubs of all 16 semi-finalists spread across the whole of the UK to assess standards from car parks, outside areas through to cellars and kitchens, as well as trading areas.
They also completed in-depth interviews with the entrants covering all aspects of the business, the commitment to staff and their own personal development.
The finalists now face a series of judging panels on Monday 12 June. The three judging panels will grill them on business development, people & training and financial awareness.
- Mark Higgs – the Castle At Edgehill, Banbury, Oxfordshire
- Clive Price – the Bletchingley Arms, Bletchingley, Surrey
- Chantelle Tupman-John – the Waggon Inn, Uppermill, Greater Manchester
- Tim Tomlinson – Merchants 1688, Lancaster
- Jennifer Kuhn – the Windsor Fenchurch, City of London
- Mark Thornhill – the Kings Head, Hursley, Hampshire
BII CEO Mike Clist said: “Congratulations to all of the finalists. The BII Licensee of the Year competition is renowned for being the most rigorous of all the awards in licensed retailing and is the one individual operators really want to win.
“As well as high numbers again this year, the standard of entrants has been the highest we’ve seen yet, which gave the judges a tough challenge narrowing it down from 16 great operators to just six. I wish them well in the final stage.”
The overall winner will be decided and announced at the BII annual Summer Event on Tuesday 13 June, attended by almost 900 people from the licensed trade.
Former winners of the award include Richard and Loren Pope of the Bulls Head, Repton, Derbyshire; Darran Lingley of the Five Bells, Colne Engaine, Essex; and Ashley and Kelly McCarthy of Ye Old Sun Inn, Colton, North Yorkshire.