A Cornish operator was celebrating after taking home the prestigious title of Licensee of the Year (LOYA) yesterday.
Amanda and Nick Hemming, of the Heron Inn, Malpas, Cornwall, took home the top title after taking on strong competition from five other leading operators from across the UK in the finals of the gruelling LOYA competition, organised by the British Institute of Innkeeping and sponsored by Sky.
The result was announced at the BII’s Summer Event yesterday (21 June) after a previous day of challenging interviews in which judges put all six finalists through their paces facing three separate judging panels of industry experts and operators.
Steve Alton, BII ceo, said: “I’d like to offer a massive congratulations to Nick and Amanda 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, and to win from the largest field of nominations we have ever seen, is truly remarkable.
“I’d also like to congratulate our other incredible finalists, as getting to the finals of this competition is an incredible achievement in itself. The friendships they have all formed in the last two days has been fantastic to see, and we will be sharing more of the best practice from all of our finalists over the coming year.”
The six finalists had been whittled down from a field of more than 300 competitors and were selected, based on their community impact, exceptional mystery diner visits, financial and online audits and face-to-face interviews in their pubs with judges Sue Allen and Ashley McCarthy.
However, Nick and Amanda came out on top after the final round of panel interviews held at Sky’s head office the day before the party.
They were up against:
- Michael Pearson & Charlotte Salaman – The Wych Elm, Kingston Upon Thames, London
- Joe Buckley & Flo Pearce – Tollemache Arms, Harrington, Northamptonshire
- Rumit & Tosh Lakhani – The White Horse, Buckover, Gloucestershire
- Stuart Fox & Julian Crowley – The White Horse, Dover, Kent
- James Lyon Shaw – The Greene Oak, Windsor, Berkshire
Damian Saunders, Managing Director of Sky Business added: “A huge congratulations to Amanda and Nick for winning the Licensee of the Year Award in 2022.
“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 last two years.”