Entry Criteria

Entry Criteria

Pub of the Year

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Each entrant to this category will be judged across all aspects of services and facilities. Judges will be looking for a quality customer experience in terms of a great atmosphere, a warm welcome, appropriate entertainment, a comfortable environment, and a great range of drinks. All entries will be visited by a mystery shopper.


Pub Food of the Year

Each entrant to this category will be judged across all aspects of services and facilities. Judges will be looking for an uncompromising commitment to flavour, quality and healthy, honest food coupled with excellent customer service, value for money and a comfortable and relaxed environment. Use of local product and the provision of a family friendly environment will be of particular importance. This category will be judged by mystery diner. Entrants into this category will be required to provide a complimentary voucher for a meal for two.


Bar Person of the Year

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Entrants to this award will have been in their current role for at least one year up to and including 17th June 2022. Entrants can nominate themselves or be nominated by their manager. Judges will be looking for commitment to excellence in all areas of their role and particularly how they have contributed to the success of the business coupled with any significant personal achievements that have impacted on their role as Bar Person. Entrants to this award will be asked to complete a short written submission giving further details. The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed at their place of work by the LCN judges.


Style Bar of the Year

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This category is open to all bars that have a created a strong theme designed to create specific customer appeal. Judges will be looking for a pronounced ambience in the bar- whether full of energy, a tranquil place, or the place to be seen. This will include the music played, the design and décor and the range of drinks offered and the type of service. This category will be judged by mystery shoppers.


Tourist Pub of the Year

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This category is open to any pub that makes a significant contribution to tourism in their area. The pub may be located in a tourist area or is, by reputation and marketing, a destination pub for a wide geographic area and overseas guests.

This category will be judged by mystery shopper and who will be looking for exceptional performance in all areas but particularly:

  • A great range of locally sourced drinks
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Authentic surroundings
  • A unique selling point in terms of the theme, entertainment, or food.

Hotel of the Year – up to 75 rooms

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The hotels in this category should have a reception desk staffed for a minimum of 8 hours, bistro/ restaurant facilities ought to be available 7 days per week, room service should be available, and there should be 24-hour on-site management. This category will be judged by mystery guest. Entrants into this category will be required to provide a complimentary entrants voucher for overnight stay purposes.


Hotel of the Year – over 75 rooms

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The Hotels is this category must have 24-hour reception, room service, a choice of dining facilities, concierge services, dedicated business centre, and gymnasium, pool or spa. This category will be judged by mystery guest. Entrants into this category will be required to provide a complimentary entrants voucher for overnight stay purposes.


Live Music Venue of the Year

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This category will acknowledge a pub that has introduced innovative and popular live/recorded music entertainment options that has created an exciting atmosphere and has had a positive impact on the growth of the business. Entrants to this award will be asked to complete a short written submission giving further details.


Newcomer of the Year

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This award is open to any hospitality business that has been in business for less than two years up to and including 30th September 2020. Judges will be looking for a business with a unique selling point that has made a significant impact and drawn positive attention since opening. The customer experience is of vital importance and mystery shoppers will carry out the initial judging. Please note: hotels, restaurants, café/bistros not entered into other categories will be required to provide a complimentary entrants voucher for meals and overnight stay purposes.


Restaurant of the Year

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Each entrant to this category will be judged across all aspects of services and facilities with particular emphasis on the food and service offering. Food can be simple or elaborate, so long as it is based on the finest, fresh ingredients, is beautifully presented and tastes superb. Judges will be looking for an uncompromising commitment to quality, a varied and innovative menu, and the highest standards of customer service. This category will be judged by mystery diner. Entrants into this category will be required to provide a complimentary entrants voucher for meals.


Cafe/Bistro of the Year

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Each entrant to this category will be judged across all aspects of service and facilities with particular emphasis on the food and beverage offering. Judges will be looking for a relaxed informal ambiance, uncompromising commitment to top quality local food and excellent customer care. This category is judged by mystery diner. Entrants into this category will be required to provide a complimentary entrants voucher for meals.


Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year

This award is open to any hospitality business who has embraced the digital media in an innovative way to reach their marketplace effectively and successfully. Entrants should give evidence of the content, the types of different media used, the results achieved and how these have increased awareness, attracted new customers, and increased sales. This award will be judged by written submission.


Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award aims to recognise any individual in hospitality business who has dedicated themselves to the growth and success of hospitality industry. The winner of this award will have made and outstanding contribution in their sector and have been a model of excellence throughout their career.


Entrepreneur of the Year

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This category is open to any entrepreneur successfully managing one or more businesses in a way that demonstrates entrepreneurial characteristics. Judges will be looking for key characteristics such their aptitude for the business, commitment to the industry and their ability to consistently meet high standards of business excellence.

The winner of this award will be able to demonstrate how they meet the criteria is terms of:

  • Vision and passion: applicants must have energy, creativity, entrepreneurial purpose, and passion.
  • Perseverance: applicants must have the confidence, conviction, tenacity, plan, and overall professional acumen to take a high-potential business and scale it into a market leader.
  • Risk taking: applicants must show how in order to achieve they had to take risks and overcome obstacles
  • Growth and viability: applicants should have ambitious company growth goals and have achieved good growth with potential for more.

This award will be judged by written submission and entrant can self-nominate or be nominated by another.


Fish and Chip Shop of the Year

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The judges of this category will be looking for excellent fish and chips. They will also assess the speed and efficiency of service, cleanliness, and the welcome from the staff. Eye catching frontage and an attractive shop interior, with informative promotional point of sale material, will also gain points. This award will be judged by mystery shopper.


Outstanding Customer Service Award

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This award is designed to recognise and celebrate the best practise standards of customer care in the hospitality industry. The award is open to all entrants who can demonstrate how customer service is at the very heart of their business. Judges will be looking for exceptional service standards, enthusiastic and engaging staff who exceed the expectations of their customers. This category will be judged by mystery shopper. Please note: hotels, restaurants, café/bistros not entered into other categories will be required to provide a complimentary entrants voucher for meals and overnight stay purposes.


Chef of the Year

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This award seeks nominations are from all food businesses, whether in a fixed restaurant environment or championing the street food or pop-up restaurant phenomenon. This is an opportunity to nominate a chef that is an unsung hero and deserving of recognition. Nominations may be for chefs from any part of the hospitality and catering industry and either for a specific achievement or for commitment over many years. Entrants to this award will be asked to complete a short written submission giving further details.


Guidelines for Submission

Entries should be based on product launches carried out in the last year.  You may include up to three items of supporting evidence which can include photographs and videos.