Ei Group’s Awards for Excellence returns for 2020

Ei Group, the UK’s largest pub company, has today (6 January) opened entries for its annual Ei Group Awards for Excellence, which recognise and celebrate the very best operators from across its business.

Following the success of last year’s awards, the scheme returns in 2020 to continue to highlight outstanding publicans and their teams, running successful pubs at the heart of their local communities and demonstrating operational and retail excellence.

The awards last year saw Robert & Kayleigh Thompson from The Tap on Tower Street, Harrogate (pictured) take home the coveted Pub of the Year award after displaying unmatched customer service, exceptionally high retail standards, knowledgeable staff and a fantastic drinks range.

This year’s gala awards ceremony will be hosted at Carden Park Hotel in Cheshire on 9 July with the category winners and runners-up shortlisted by a line-up of industry experts.

The category winners will scoop a three-day adventure in Italy with wine tasting, and the runners up will enjoy a day at the races with Diageo or an event at the O2 with Budweiser Brewing Group.

Publicans can enter the awards via the dedicated website www.eigroupawards.com or by nomination from their Regional Manager.

Paul Harbottle, Group Commercial Director at Ei Group, said, “These awards are hugely important as they allow us to celebrate the amazing work of so many publicans across our estate. In showcasing their success, we are inspiring others and working towards our goal of raising retail standards and business performance.

“We are excited to see this year’s entries and I’m sure we’ll uncover some truly inspirational stories from publicans embedded at the very heart of communities across the UK. We look forward to celebrating at the awards night this summer.”

Head Judge and former BBPA CEO Brigid Simmonds, will be tasked with scrutinising the finalists through site visits and publican interviews, and is supported by a strong judging panel, featuring representatives from industry groups such as the British Beer & Pub Association, UKHospitality, British Institute of Innkeeping, Pub is the Hub, The Clink Charity, All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and the Licensed Trade Charity.

Three specialist categories will feature a separate judging process, with shortlisted pubs in the Best Food category being visited by mystery shoppers, while experts from Wadworth Brewery will assess shortlisted pubs for the Cellar Standards award.

The full list of this year’s categories is:
Excellence in Cellar Standards
Best Community Hub
Best Sports Venue
Best Food Offer
Best Drink Offer
Best Turnaround
Best Entertainment
Best Marketing Initiative
Best Newcomer
Best Outdoor Area
Best Craft Union Pub
Craft Union Community Champion
Best Bermondsey Pub
Bermondsey Community Champion
Lifetime Achievement Award
Ei Group Pub of the Year