Great British Pub Awards

Inventiveness key to success, says GBPA winner

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags GBPA Awards Events Award Pubco + head office Pub & bar Pub Winners

Standing still is not an option for the pub trade, adaption and inventiveness will be key according to the winner of the Great British Pub of the Year Awards.

Speaking following her win, Sally Harris, licensee of the Gun Inn, said her willingness to flex is what helped to secure her the title in the prestigious pub awards.

“We’re different - we’ve adapted and changed, and that’s the most important thing in this industry, you can’t stay put, you have to think of the next idea, there has to be something new and inventive,” she said.

The pub, based in the sleepy West Sussex village of Findon, took home the title of best in the UK, seeing off competition from award winning pubs from across the UK.

The competition, which is organised by the Morning Advertiser, sees pubs from across the country compete in a range of categories, before each category winner goes head to head to claim the overall title.

Judges praise

The Gun Inn won praise from the judges for its quirky approach and individual style under the leadership of Sally, all while continuing to deliver fantastic standards on its offer and service across the board.

Sally said the response to the win has been fantastic and was completely unexpected. “Winning has been surreal, it’s been an absolute whirlwind and I wasn’t prepared for the level of attention we’ve had. The increase in traffic, lots of enquiries, emails, instagram, loads of new followers-  it's been so good for the pub, because it’s a tricky time, so to have that has been phenomenal.”

She said they would be celebrating with a big party for the local village but they were not going to stand still and would continue to build on their success.

She said the role of pubs in the UK was changing, and businesses needed to embrace that: “People come in because they want an experience. Drinking culture has changed hugely and British pubs need to recognise that and change accordingly - more low alcohol, more offerings for the drivers. We’ve got to adapt and change or there won’t be a British Pub otherwise.”

To hear about Sally’s journey to award winning pub, watch the video above.

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