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Thu 17th Dec 2015 - Sky competition winner unveiled, sector has mojo back, ALMR Operations Managers Awards winners
Sky Sports News presenter reveals Sky and Propel Christmas Calendar Competition winner at ALMR lunch: The winner of 12 months’ free Sky for their licensed venue in the Sky and Propel Christmas Advent Competition is Janusz Matyszewski from The Old Plough in Leicester. Sky Sports News presenter David Garrido made the announcement in front of 1,200 guests from across the hospitality sector at today’s (Thursday, 17 December) Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers’ annual Christmas Lunch at Old Billingsgate in London. There are still some fabulous prices up for grabs in the remaining few days of the competition. Sky has partnered with Propel to give away a fabulous prize each working day until Tuesday (22 December) including tickets to the 2016 British Grand Prix, an NFL match at Wembley and a Barclays Premier League football match. There is also a 46-inch HD Smart television to be won. Good luck!

Kate Nicholls – sector has got its mojo back but more needs to be done: Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) chief executive Kate Nicholls has said the hospitality sector has got its mojo back but more needs to be done. Speaking at today’s (Thursday, 17 December) ALMR Christmas Lunch, which attracted over 1,200 guests, she said: “For the third year in a row turnover, job creation and productivity are all up. So to, for the first time in a decade are outlet numbers. We have outperformed the economy and shown greater high street resilience and investment than retail – and we have taken every opportunity to tell MPs, ministers and civil servants about it. Our vital campaigning work has delivered over £180m cost savings to your businesses this year – on business rate revaluations, restaurant inspection charges, planning, food policy, EMROs, zero hours contracts, employer NICs. Very real bottom line benefits to our members. But there is much more that needs to be done to get the free, fair and flexible market we deserve which will allow us to unlock our potential for growth and investment – in our people, our businesses and our communities. And we have some exciting new initiatives. On food: where we are using our ambassadorial role as the voice of UK hospitality in Europe and working with government on a new Great British Food initiative to promote the diversity and vibrancy of our restaurants and the skills of our chefs, generating positive PR and helping us to push back robustly on tips and sugar taxes. Late-night: where our work with the Strategic Crime Board with the Mayor of London and Met Police commissioner is setting new policy around the use of crime stats in licensing decisions and helping to unlock Agent of Change for planning. Small business: where we are working with a number of partners to build on our Operations Manager Awards and develop value added training, new academies and scholarship initiatives to tackle the skills gap in chefs, site management and leadership and to bring back pride and professionalism And of course we will continue to work to deliver our manifesto for jobs and growth, campaigning for root and branch business rate reform, a fairer and more equitable tax burden, National Living Wage, late-night levies and licensing and tax incentives for investment in job creation and training.” Chairman Steve Richards added: “We are unashamedly a political trade body – who lobby government on your behalf – and make sure they hear and understand your concerns as well as the consequences of their actions and legislation. It’s about reminding government that hospitality creates jobs like no other sector, employs and trains millions of young people, pays literally billions in taxes, and is hugely important to our country’s social fabric and GDP – communicating, influencing and building on these truths is our number one priority and what the ALMR does. To deliver on this, the ALMR needs to matter – to its members and to those in Whitehall and fundamentally be the big voice of the sector on all things connected to pubs, bars, nightclubs and restaurants.” The ALMR grew membership by 29% this year and now represents 200 companies, which operate 22,000 managed outlets and employ 650,000 staff between them.

Winners of 2015 ALMR Operations Managers Awards unveiled: The winners of the 2015 Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) Operations Managers Awards, the annual search for the best and brightest in licensed hospitality, have been unveiled. Caren Geering, of Admiral Taverns, has been named business development manager of the year with Martha Ingham, of Mitchells & Butlers, taking the award for area manager of the year. David Bigio, of Thwaites, was been named as 2015’s rising star. The winners were announced in front of 1,200 guests from across the sector at the awards presentation held today (Thursday, 17 December) at the ALMR Christmas Lunch at Old Billingsgate, London. The judges were impressed by the enthusiasm, professionalism and passion for licensed retail displayed by the three winners, demonstrated during an extensive judging process comprising written paper, in the field assessment with mentor judges and an interview. ALMR Operations Awards founder Nick Bish said: “This has been another great competition with impressive finalists right across the spectrum – now from casual dining brands, the late-night operators again and of course the market-leading mainstream managed and leased businesses. The energy and professionalism of the awards finalists is self-evident and hugely reassuring for the future trajectory and reputation of our industry.”

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