The Tolly operators named best licensees

Joe Buckley and Flo Pearce have won the 2023 BII Licensee of the Year competition.

Joe Buckley and Flo Pearce from The Tollemache Arms in Harrington have won the 2023 BII Licensee of the Year competition.

Since January, pub operators from across the UK have been whittled down from a field of over 300 entrants to just six finalists, who all attended the BII Summer Event on Tuesday 20 June to find out who won the top title.

Following a final judging day at Sky Head Quarters on Monday 19 June, the finalists faced three panels of industry experts and operators before the verdict was reached.

Buckly and Pearce (pictured) scored highly across all areas, including mystery customer visits and web and social media audits, as well as their on-site judging visit at the pub in Northamptonshire. Their performance on the final judging day sealed the deal for the operators.

"I’d like to offer a massive congratulations to Flo and Joe on behalf of myself and the whole team here at the BII, including our fantastic judges," says Steve Alton, chief executive of the BII. "I would like to also congratulate our other wonderful finalists, as this year the standard was truly remarkable. We can’t wait to share the experience and best practice from all our finalists over the coming year with the whole BII membership."

The Tollemache Arms, known by locals as The Tolly, is no stranger to industry awards. This year it has also been named Northamptonshire Pub & Bar of the Year as part of the National Pub & Bar Awards, the final of which takes place on Wednesday 28 June.

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