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14th May 2024

BII Licensee of the Year 2024 Finalists Announced!

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) is delighted to announce their six incredible finalists for this year’s Licensee of the Year Award (LOYA).

In partnership with Sky Business, the Licensee of the Year competition is widely regarded as the most rigorous and hard-fought award for individual licensee operators in the UK.

Since the launch in January this year, licensee operators have been entering the competition, showing the judges evidence of how they have been building their businesses, teams, and communities, with a focus on their resilience, sustainability and diversification.

Selected from a field of over 300 entrants, our six finalists have been selected based on their community impact, support for their teams, commitment to sustainability and their plans for diversification. They all had exceptional mystery diner visit scores, and faced financial and online audits, followed by face-to-face interviews in their pubs with judges, Amanda Hemming and Ashley McCarthy.

The 2024 Licensee of the Year Award finalists are as follows:

Chris Michaelas & April Reeves – The Dartford Sports Bar, DA1 2DJ

Justine Lorriman – The Royal Dyche, BB11 3BW

Max Shaw & Kelly Deary – The Castle Inn, DE74 2PP

Paul Dexter & Keith Goddard – The Old Swan, NN6 0NA

Steve Banks – The Woodman, Ruislip, HA4 7SE

Victoria Williams & Zac Williams-Wolfe – Fletchers Arms, M34 6EG

To learn more about our finalists, please visit our website here.

Steven Alton, BII CEO commented: “Our Licensee of the Year Award is the most prestigious & hard-fought award, showcasing the dedication and excellence in our sector. The final six this year represent a wide range of fantastic pubs, each offering a unique approach to the care and dedication to their teams and communities.

“We are very proud that the awards offer a value-added experience at every stage of the competition. Our finalists will have had the opportunity to evaluate their businesses at every stage, from mystery customer reports and judging visit feedback, right through to our final judging day at Sky HQ on Monday 17th June.

“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all involved and wish them the best of luck for the final stages of the competition. I can’t wait to meet them all next month for our final judging day.”

All six finalists will be presented with a trophy at the BII Summer Event on the 18th of June, where the winner of Licensee of the Year 2024 will be crowned.

The BII would like to thank everyone who has entered the competition this year. Keep your eyes peeled for another opportunity to enter in January 2025.


Notes to the editor:

About the British Institute of Innkeeping:

The BII is the leading independent licensee support organisation for individuals working in hospitality, with 13,000 individual members running premises across the UK – predominantly tenanted, leased, managed and freehold pubs. The organisation provides expert helplines, online business support, and guidance on key industry issues, and savings on a range of supply deals for its members, keeping pubs thriving in the heart of every community.

The BII has also launched Workforce, a brand new, free-to-use membership organisation for team members from every area of the pub sector. Developed by the BII in collaboration with BIIAB, Sky Business and the LTC (Licensed Trade Charity), it promotes and champions the fantastic career opportunities that exist in pubs and offers support, advice, guidance and perks to members.

For all Press Enquiries please contact:

Molly Davis – Head of Communications

07539 377752

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