How to deal with awards

October 8, 2011

Awards day in mid Wales today. The Good Pub Guide 2012 names us Dining Pub of the Year in Wales for the second consecutive year. And the Michelin Guide finally seees fit to recognise one of the Eatdrinksleep stable with a Bib Gourmand, which recognises good cooking at unusually sensible prices.

How do we deal with awards in this industry?

In truth they can be a double-edged sword for those trying to develop a small business. Here are my rules:

– teams have worked hard to be in a position where we are in consideration for an award. Recognise their efforts and skill.

– we can all look at our shoes and pretend we don’t care about awards. But for a small business the PR opportunity is like a tank of oxygen half way up Everest. Tell the world, quickly and quietly, that you’ve been recognised.

– ultimately the decision of an award is a fairly subjective one and there are others who could equally well be singled out in any one year. Don’t believe the hype.

– the guidebook view is based on guests’ experience earlier in the year. A time that is simply not relevant any more. Focus on the next service.

– you sign a deal with the devil when you win an award. Your regular guests’ expectations soar. New ones come with a heightened sense of anticipation that can only be met by a better service. Meet the challenge.

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