They are, from the casual dining and managed operators sector:
Adam Sykes, Fullers
Alan Campbell, Nicholson's Pubs, Mitchells & Butlers
Alan Kay, JD Wetherspoon
Dave Harrison, Deltic Group
Emma Deabill, Yo! Sush
David Jenkins, JD Wetherspoon
Leane Patching, New World Trading Co
Richard Bond, JD Wetherspoon
Samantha Smith, Living Ventures
Tim Sparrow, Be At One
Trevor Peach, TGI Friday
And from the leased or franchised business operators:
Billy Guthrie, Greene King
Craig Nevins, Star Pubs & Bars
Simon Thornton, Fullers
Phil McWilliam, Star Pubs & Bars
Salle Wroblewski, Ei Group Plc
Stephen Birkett, Admiral Taverns
Yvonne Fraser, Greene King.
The judges report that the standard of entries again demonstrates that the entire sector owns some exceptional talent, underpinning the importance of the Operations Managers Awards and the recognition and development of the best operations managers within the UK’s hospitality industry.
The judges have accepted 18 individuals to the final stages of the Awards. After the four Mentor Judges had marked each paper they felt these were the right group to be the Finalists in the next stages of the Awards.
Andrew Thompson, Mentor Judge and formerly operations director for Punch added: “It continues to impress all of the judges how today’s operations managers evolve to support and develop both managed and leased businesses. They have an ever-growing role within these businesses and the very best make a significant impact on each outlet within their area and are a credit to the companies they represent.”
Nick Bish, founder of the Awards, commented: “We have always believed that operations managers are the lynch-pin of modern, thriving multi-site retailing and the Ops Awards programme recognises, celebrates and develops the best individuals in the sector.
“In addition, what delights us is how the Awards have evolved beyond the ‘traditional’ pub sector and is now the benchmark for very many companies that are leaders in the casual dining sector and beyond.”
The entry paper judging sees the nominations whittled down to the ‘Finalists’. Individuals are then closely assessed on a day’s worth of routine business visits by one or other of the Awards’ Mentor Judges before they head to Leicestershire for the highly regarded Operations Managers MasterClass. This is led, for the thirteenth successive year, by Chris Nichols and is leavened by inspiring sessions from industry greats that have included Rupert Clevely, Nick Pring, Simon French, Roger Whiteside, Kris Gumbrell, Peter Hansen and Stephen Gould.
After a final, gruelling, day of interviews in front of the Mentor Judges and eight leading operators from the sector, the winners will be decided and announced at a stand-alone evening ceremony at the London’s Pullman Hotel on Monday November 6. Ticket details for this event will be available in the coming weeks – so to be kept abreast of the arrangements please email