Pub and bar pride
I’m writing this welcome note the morning after the 2018 National Pub & Bar Awards, and maybe it’s the befuddling mixture of fatigue, lack of sleep and a mild hangover, but my word, I’m feeling emotional.
This has nothing to do with the fact that the Pub & Bar team put on an outstanding event at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly – I’m not about to harp on about how proud I am of the team through an unnecessary, self-promoting spiel. However, on this occasion, pride is an underlying reason for the emotions experienced the day after the night before. But it’s not about being proud of ourselves, it’s about being proud of the 94 County Winners who came to celebrate in London; proud of the outstanding businesses that they all run; proud of the industry as a whole; and proud of the moving accounts I heard about what winning a National Pub & Bar Award has done for these businesses.
That last point is what really got me. Because the event hosts close to 100 award winners, it’s not until the actual awards evening that I am able to personally congratulate people individually. This is also when they’re able to feedback what impact the County Winner title has had on their site.
Operators received congratulatory letters from their MPs; some received correspondence from the Lords that own the land the pub is on; there have been radio interviews, thousands of social media posts and a staggering amount of press coverage. This all amounts to achieving the main goal of the National Pub & Bar Awards, and that is to get more people into these exemplary venues.
While all of those business-orientated points are crucial when measuring the success of the event, I think it was the genuine gratitude expressed by the people I spoke with that knocked me for six. This event, once again, stayed true to its mission of promoting the on-trade on a national scale, which has brought deserved attention and acknowledgment to a long list of wonderful pubs and bars, which, in turn, has made a lot of operators very happy indeed. And if you’re happy, then so are we.
Tristan O’Hana - Group Editor