Find out about the Best Pub Operations Team finalists

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

Shortlist summary: we've delved into each of the Best Pub Operations Team finalists
Shortlist summary: we've delved into each of the Best Pub Operations Team finalists

Related tags Publican awards Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office Events

This award will be presented to the pub operations team that best demonstrates its effectiveness in innovation, leadership and business success.

The finalists are:

Barons Pub Company

Surrey-based Barons​ has strong internal communications and feedback loops to ensure that its teams deliver great customer experiences and that venues meet all of their compliance obligations.

Managers receive training in mental health first aid in addition to equality, diversity and inclusion to help them create working environments where staff feel safe and valued.

Each site has a mental health champion, providing a vital link in the chain to respond to individual concerns and keep the topic high on the agenda.

English language support is provided for team members for whom it is not the first language.

Reward and recognition also feed into a positive company culture. There’s an ongoing programme of days out for team members, while the introduction of a service charge for the first time has made the tip share more democratic. The annual Barons internal awards scheme gets bigger by the year.


These are exciting times for family-owned Wadworth, with a brand-new brewery​ coming on stream in its home town of Devizes in Wiltshire.

The culture within its managed house estate has been in a similar period of transition, swinging towards giving autonomy for general managers, while retaining the right amount of central control to ensure a strong food and drink offer and consistent levels of service.

At the backbone of all this is regular and clear communications, driving a collaborative approach to idea-generation and problem-solving throughout the business.

Kitchen confidence workshops have been devised by the executive chef team, giving all pub team members a suite of basic skills so they can jump on and help at busy times.

A central resource for training videos, food safety information, beer tasting notes and marketing tools, called The Hub, has rolled out across the managed estate.

Heartwood Inns

The food-led Heartwood group has done a nifty job of reshaping its operations structure to meet the changing needs of the business.

It’s created a separate operations team for new site openings, to keep pace with a rapid programme of site acquisitions.

The move has ensured that pubs coming into the group get the focus they need to hit the ground running, without having an impact on the resources and smooth running of the existing estate.

Operational regions are kept small so that members of the ops team can be in all their sites on a weekly basis.

As the business expands further into pubs with accommodation it’s added new team members with specific skills in that area to bring sites on stream.

Regular and effective communications are key to making this all work seamlessly, eliminating friction between kitchens and front-of-house.

There’s a well-structured programme of progression through the business which provides an ongoing pipeline of talent to support the expansion plans.

Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars

Cheshire Cat operates seven exquisite pubs offering great food and drink across Staffordshire and the county from which the company takes its name.

Owners Tim Bird and Mary McLaughlin sit at the top of a relatively flat management structure that allows for quick decision-making and easy implementation of new ideas within the business.

Each pub reflects the owners’ broad-brush blueprint of great food, premium drinks, friendly and efficient service and atmospheric design but each with its own distinct personality.

Every site has a staff champion for various parts of the business – food, beer, wine and spirits – who are responsible for passing on their knowledge and passion to other members of their team.

The system forms the main plank of a progression path for Cheshire Cat’s people working in the business and equips pub teams with the tools to enhance guest enjoyment of the food and beverage offer.

Related topics Events & Occasions

Related news

Show more