The Eagle & Child celebrates as it reaches final of national pub competition
Glen Duckett, licensee of the Eagle & Child in Ramsbottom, Lancashire, has been named as one of the six finalists in this year’s Licensee of the Year Awards, held by The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), the leading professional body for the UK’s licensees.
The Eagle & Child was founded only five years ago with the aim of developing a pub that was at the heart of the local community. Recognising the requirement for youth employment in the area, when Glen opened the doors of the Eagle & Child he immediately offered roles for young food and drink enthusiasts in the community looking for a new challenge.
After previously working in the social sector, at youth offending institutes and local authority projects, Glen recognised the need for more opportunities to be offered to young people struggling to find work. Glen’s passion for social inclusion and making the pub a community hub is a real credit to him, and he comments, ‘Over five years more than 40 disadvantaged young people have passed through our doors as employees with a 75% success rate in integrating them back into the mainstream of work and society, which is a huge achievement for us.
He adds, ‘As well as being a dedicated local employer, we pride ourselves on offering a warm and friendly atmosphere in a typical Lancashire pub. Our customers travel for our food and we see ourselves as destination for pub-goers. We’re delighted to be nominated by a third party and have found the process of the BII Licensee of the Year competition interesting and challenging.’
After their initial written submission, the finalists have already been through audits on food hygiene ratings, independent social media audits and mystery customer visits and also welcomed the judging panel to their premises for a full site visit and in depth interviews.
The six finalists now face a panel judging day in May where they will be quizzed by industry experts in four areas; Marketing, Industry Affairs, Finance and People & Training. All finalists will be presented with trophies at the BII Summer Event on 7th June, when the overall winner of Licensee of the Year 2016, sponsored by BT Sport, will be announced.
John Sharratt, chair of the judging panel, commented: “Over the 13 years of my involvement with this award it continues to be a privilege to have the opportunity to meet and talk with professional, passionate, successful and inspirational licensees. This year has been particularly challenging to judge not just because of the large number of entries originally received but also the quality witnessed during our visits by those successfully competing to operate in an ever demanding business environment."
For more information about the BII please visit: https://www.bii.org/