BII Licensee of the Year 2021 winner is crowned

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Best of the best: Jason and Chris Black scored highly throughout the competition
Best of the best: Jason and Chris Black scored highly throughout the competition

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The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has crowned Jason and Chris Black from the Pityme Inn in Wadebridge, north Cornwall, as its Licensee of the Year 2021.

The BII Licensee of the Year competition is regarded as one of the most rigorous and hard-fought awards for individual licensee operators in the UK. Since June 2021, operators from across the UK have been whittled down from a field of more than 200 entrants to find the eventual winner.

During a final judging day at Sky Headquarters in west London on Monday 22 November, each of the six finalists faced four panels of industry experts and operators, with Jason and Chris Black talking the honours.

High scoring throughout

The operators had been strong competitors from the start, according to the BII, which saw them score highly across all areas including mystery customer visits and web and social media audits, as well as their on-site judging visit from judges Sue Allen and Paul Pavli. And their performance on the final judging day sealed the deal for these operators.

The team from the Pityme Inn picked up their winner’s trophy in front of an audience of more than 900 people at this year’s BII Winter Event, hosted on Tuesday 23 November at Old Billingsgate, in central London, attended by dignitaries from the industry.

BII chief executive Steve Alton said: “I’d like to offer a massive congratulations to Chris and Jason on behalf of myself and the whole team here at the BII, including our fantastic judges. This is the most rigorous and intense competition in our industry, but it was clear to the judges that they had the dedication and passion deserving of a Licensee of the Year winner. I’d also like to congratulate our other finalists, as getting to the finals of this competition is an incredible achievement in itself.”

Spoils of victory

Sky Business managing director Damian Saunders added: “A huge congratulations to Jason and Chris for winning the Licensee of the Year award. Sky is delighted to sponsor this award and play a part in recognising the individuals that have achieved so much in the industry, particularly after the incredible challenges they have faced over the past 18 months.”

As winner of Licensee of the Year competition, the Blacks will receive a year’s free ‘Pubs and Clubs’ subscription to Sky Sports, £500 towards a party in their pub to celebrate with their staff and a model of their pub created by artist Bunty May Marshall to commemorate their win.

The BII Licensee of the Year competition will return to its original place in the calendar next year, so it will be launching its hunt for the future winners in January 2022.

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